Entry Three (in which I am indicted)
I am to have assignments, Mother?
I am not to be trusted to discern the thoughts of mine which merit written capture. I must be prompted into discourse, encouraged to indite that which another has requested. Indition is not a word, Mother. Were you aware? I was going to write it and use it, confident that the verb could be made a noun, but then I recalled the humiliation of my recent salutation “Yours in recondition,” and I paused to look it up.
How I despise when the words I choose defeat me with their irreality.
Back to the assignment you have given me . . .
Describe yourself so that one might be able to find you in a large crowded room.
What is the point of this exercise?
I require explication before proceeding.
I will be right back.
A note here that time has elapsed during which I sought you out to enquire as to the intent and purpose of the query you have posed. I believe I have captured your response verbatim . . .
First you sighed heavily, and then you said, “Imagine that you and I have somehow become separated in a large and crowded room. In the moments of our separation, I am injured and lose the entirety of my memory. I search my pockets for clues as to my identity and connection in this world, and find only a single crumpled and many-folded sheet of paper in a pocket concealed within my coat. I smooth the paper’s creases and read the words contained therein — a short description of a girl. I have lost everything except the image this description paints for me of my daughter, although I am unaware in this moment that she is my daughter. I read the description again, and I begin to search the room for the girl who will give me back to myself.”
I stared at you.
You said, “Write the way back to you,” and then you sank beneath the bath water and refused to continue the conversation.
I have given this a bit of thought, Mother.
Here is my response . . .
In the scenario you describe, only one of us has lost her memory. Yes, we are in a large and crowded room, but why should you need to set off in search of me? Yes, you might, confused and forgetful, wander about the room looking for your life, but my life would not have been lost. I am not a stupid person; I would not, upon being separated from you for a few moments, sink to the floor in stuporous incompetent despair. I would retrace our steps through the room; I would seek a higher vantage point from which to survey the crowd . . . even in a very large room, it is not as though your injury and disorientation would render you invisible. If I failed to find you after a few moments, I would call your phone . . . where is your phone in this story, anyway? Indeed, where is your purse? How has this trauma of yours caused you to be stripped of all identification?
Why would you need to hunt me down?
I think you have left out an important scene, namely the entirety of the moments in which I have taken advantage of the crowded noisy chaos of the room to club you senseless and take all of your personal identifying belongings.
Why would I do that? I am sure I don’t know. It’s your imagined truth, not mine.
Search your pockets, Mother.
Slide your fingers into the envelope of space concealed against your body.
Unfold and smooth the sheet of paper you find within.
Read the words . . .
It has emerged that the way back to me is through you.
It would have been far more efficacious to have requested a photograph, Mother.