On memory

by look i have opinions

“After Sara Meyer’s husband died of an aneurism during the preparations for their son’s tenth birthday party, Sara memorised Hamlet, a list of the hundred most endangered animal species worldwide, and a substantial portion of the Quran. Anna, on the other hand, recently had trouble distinguishing the number six from the number nine, and it seemed like only a matter of time before the letters of the alphabet lost their distinctiveness, and p, b and d were used interchangeably. The phrase ‘Happy Birthday’ would be unwritable. Sometimes in the mornings, in the minute after she first woke, she thought that she had lost a son, and suffered deep spasms of grief before she remembered that she had never had a son and had never wanted one.”

—“The Good Citizens,” by Christy Edwall (x)