Out of Focus

By Paula Younger

Memoir

Two years after my wedding I stood behind bulletproof glass searching evidence tables piled with pictures of smiling brides and grooms.  Jenny, the police officer assigned to photo viewing day, led me to the Misc. box, a cardboard beast overflowing with pictures and negatives.  She warned, “This might take a while.”  A blond woman flanked by her husband and her parents said, “Can you believe we have to do this?”  She rifled through boxes for a glimpse of the dress she had so carefully picked out, her husband’s smile, photos of friends and family.  I was looking for those things too.  But I was also looking for something else.  In that police basement I was searching for the last pictures ever taken of my mother and me.

Please explain what just happened.

I just woke up. I’m in my underwear listening to “The Lady is a Tramp.”  Boxer Briefs. Just in case you’re wondering.

 

What is your earliest memory?

What comes to mind is my brother’s first day of school. He’s two and a half years older than I am, and I remember holding my grandfather’s hand while we dropped him off. I can see my brother’s face smiling on the blue carpet as we walked away. A few years later, I’d be in the same classroom with the same teacher, Mrs. Webster.

Please explain what just happened.

Stomach growled, reached for coffee, repeat.

 

What is your earliest memory?

Having removed all my clothes to scratch at rapidly emerging chicken pox.  I remember being naked and wandering the house in search of a parent to inform.  I was, like, 3 years old.  Where the hell were my parents, anyway?

Please explain what just happened.

I’m guessing you just clicked on The Nervous Breakdown’s Arts & Culture tab.And perhaps you had to scroll down a little.

 

What is your earliest memory?

Dressing up as Queen Esther for Purim.Which is odd, since I’m not Jewish.