The Fragments of Early Life

Forty years of doubt and recriminations: It has been a life.

Truth be told, I’ve very few memories of my first dozen years of wakefulness. They’re foggy at best. And even those rare memories are smeared and dreamy:

…my mother plays cards with a groups of clucking women. One takes out her teeth and snaps them in my face. They all laugh, as I hide crying in the closet.

…my brother helps me climb out the window, and I sit on the front porch, waiting for someone to come along and tell me where my mother has gone.

…my brother and a girl play with a lighter. They find the flame, but can’t put it out. They hide the lighter in the closet. Firetrucks are loud and bright red.

…falling out of the window of a two-story house.

…a car door opens and I am launched into the street. I remember screeching, and I think it’s tires.