EVERYONE


They were showing it to everyone.

It was a communion chalice being passed around and then the last drops were chugged by the homeless walking up the footpath.

It was a photograph, just the one, and the one I’d seen again and again. One hundred times if ever.

There were memories in it, but this time they weren’t mine. They were small recollections; whispering and squeaking like the people under the floorboards who keep a written history of everything.

I looked it over when it came by for the third time and nodded. I felt like I was meant to have smiled. I felt like I was meant to have cared, but this was a picture from somebody else’s life. This time, anyway. It was mine once, but not now. I’ve collected all the secrets. Young faces painted with grins, caught unaware. Bears. Adult bears. Everywhere bears and not a child left. That’s my class photo, but I don’t recognize a single face.

-bja


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