Thursday, July 29, 2010

Photographic memories

There is nothing more depressing than looking through old photographs. Ours are jumbled helter-skelter in two really cheap plastic drawers that gape from their shoddy housings and shed their contents as you move them about. And those contents could serve as evidence for any theory of bad parenting you might harbor (like, if you were one of my kids). There are too many pictures of one child, too few of the other, too many forced smiles with lips pulled painfully back, too many averted looks. And there are all the stories that you know lurk behind the pictures: the hurt feelings, the parental lapses, the unassuaged fear and loneliness. And all the beaming strangers who look vaguely familiar. I must have known them once. They may have been close friends. Who the hell are they?

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