After my cousin died I went absolutely berserk trying to find this picture. In my mind I could picture the picture perfectly. I knew which album it lived in, what pictures were around it, what shelf the album stayed on in my mother’s home. I knew. Until I didn’t. I started asking questions. Where’s the album? Everything had been moved around, resorted and disturbed. I thought I knew. My questions escalated into demands. Please look for it. I want to bring it to his memorial. I want to share it with others. Look at that grin! How could I not? It went beyond my mother’s house and became my sister’s problem. Help me, I pleaded.
Not only was the picture gone but family started to doubt its very existence. I don’t remember anything like that, mom would say. Are you sure it’s you and him? Even his mother didn’t remember the picture. Just couldn’t wrap her memory around it. And yet, I saw it perfectly. I couldn’t remember who was on a swing; who was on a slide but I knew the players and I knew the place.
My mother tore her house apart. She tore her apartment apart. Nothing anywhere. I considered insanity because in my mind the picture was in my hand. I knew it that well. The memorial came and went. Summer slid into fall. Autumn gave way to colder winds of winter.
Then. The box. The fateful memory-inducing box. The box that led to the purge which prompted the photo album raid which brought me to my father…and to the missing picture. Not missing. Not crazy. Just as I remembered it. Safe and sound, the object of my obsession. My affection. xoxox
Object of My Affection