Hazy

I know the place was geographically closer to the center of town, but the exact location where it could have been, I don’t remember anymore. I came back too late, a lot has changed and whatever fragments I could summon from my memory are too vague to be accurate. Therefore, I could not be held accountable for anything I might say. My words cannot be used as a source of reliable information.

As far as I could remember it  was always dark in there for we had a small gas lamp which in my recollection was perpetually burning. I know also that there was one window on the front side (or was it at the back?) of the house (was it located between two streets? I can’t remember!) which for some unknown reason had never been opened. Perhaps the property used to be a small shop, I don’t know.

The inside of the house try as I might, I cannot picture the layout. If there was a kitchen or a bedroom I can’t remember anymore. It was a terrace house, that I am almost certain. The place was sandwiched between other nondescript buildings of forgotten colours in a neighbourhood which was equally hazy as my memory.

But there were scenes that are still clear in my mind.  One of those was of my eldest sister (or was it my mother?) holding the hand of one of my younger siblings (I think it was Ems) over the gas lamp to sanitize the wounds that covered all of her fingers which were packed with pus. I can still hear her cry of protest even to these days.

 There were bits and pieces of conversation I can recall. Like that one night I heard my eldest sister talking to some unseen people in the next room. I think they might be relatives for she talked freely with them. The conversation went like this:

“Put out the light.” The voice of a man said.

“Why would you want it out?” my sister asked.

“Because I want to score.” Muffled giggles of a female.

“You don’t need the light to be out for that.” I can hear the smile in my sister’s voice.

“It makes me uncomfortable. I used to doing it in the dark.” Said the man again.

“Why not take the example of my father, your uncle. He doesn’t mind doing it in broad daylight.” My sister chuckled.

And that’s all I can remember of that exchange.

In my memory, we had one neighbor, a family who sold popcorn for a living. They made the batch on a small single burner gas stove, packing them in small cellophane bags and sealed the lot over a candle flame.  There were perhaps kids around my age or older but the images dance in and out of focus in my head.

The most vivid of my recollection was the night we heard some commotion outside. I remember waking up to the sound of angry voices and pitiful crying. Did someone open the door, or carried me outside for when I sat up I saw a mother dragging a struggling child with her. I can’t recall if it was a boy or a girl, but the kid was naked, that much I can remember. The woman proceeded by tying up the wailing kid around a lamp post (or maybe it was a water hand pump?) and left the poor bairn there crying whole night.

I wish someone could tell me if all of these are true. But there is no one from my family anymore to set the record straight. Those who are still among us are far and scattered all over the planet and I have no contact with them since time immemorial. And even so__ I am not sure if we share the same memories or if they have been there at all…

There is another aspect of these memories that bothers me every now and again… the fact that I could not recall if my parents were present or not. I don’t remember seeing the pair of them there. If not_ were where they? How about my other siblings? Aside from those I’ve mentioned, they were MIA as well.

Sometimes I think I must have imagined the whole thing…

Lost Little Girl - Nathalie  Snyder (Large)

Reply To Writing Challenge: The Unreliable Narrator 

 

9 thoughts on “Hazy”

  1. I loved this. You perfectly summed up the ambiguity and uncertainty that accompanies a lot of our far off memories. I really liked it because sometimes when I think back to old memories, it really is hard to remember specifics. It’s a lot of patchwork. Sometimes I get a lot of dreams confused for memories. There was a time a couple years ago where I would wake up from dreams that I had and I’d lay in bed and truly think they were memories that I had forgotten. Anyways, really enjoyed this. Can’t wait to read more!

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    1. i think we fill the gaps in our memory with things that we wish had happened or didn’t want to happen depending on how we like our stories to turned out and deliberately omit all those pieces that don’t suit the big picture we painted for ourselves. as for me, i don’t write about the things that hurt the most. i hope someday i will be able to come to terms with my past and be able to pen it accurately. thank you for reading and for joining me in this journey. wish you all the best in life.

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      1. Yeah, I think we all aim to do that with our writing and it can lead to supreme honesty with ourselves and others. And no problem, I really enjoy your words and same to you 🙂

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  2. Great post! I’ve been learning about the unreliability of memory recently in my psych class and this definitely makes me think of that. I definitely like how you chose to respond and you write very well.

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    1. glad to know i’m on the right track (joke) what i’m really glad about is people like you take time to stop by and read my work. it makes all my troubles and sleepless nights worthwhile.

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      1. Of course! I figure do unto others as you would have them do unto you applies to blogging as well! Besides, I often run into some really impressive posts if I read other blogs 🙂

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      2. I believe in the Golden Rule as well. i’ll go now to check out your space as i always do when new people passed by. i’d like to familiarize with my visitors 🙂

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