Good Narrative Principles

Tree Comes Down


IMG_5709He was a tall man once who stood with shoulders thrust back as he was taught in the Army. Now, stooped, curling inwards, he looks out at the play of light on the Hudson and tries to remember all that he’s forgotten. His resting face settles into a frown as he studies his weekly pillbox. Realities that anchored him to his daily life like time and logic have become surprisingly elusive and slippery. How can he be sure what day it is? What should he use to jot down a note? Is it a napkin, toilet paper or notebook? For weeks now, he’s dismissed one able helper after another. Mysteriously, a plump woman shows up and asks him as clear as day “Would you like to go down to lunch?” But she asks him in Ukrainian, the language of his childhood. The fog that weighs him down lifts briefly as familiar words flood through him like lemonade on a hot day. The phrase “might oak”, something his Mother called him, filters up from somewhere inside and he smiles. Not outwardly. He keeps that to himself, secrets it away, a sweet memory to gnaw on in the long stretch of late afternoon.

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