Losing Family (short story)

When was the last time I saw Tory. I don’t remember. I know the last night, lying on his bed watching a television show eating pizza. Him nagging me, but good naturedly. I’m sure he made jokes about my hair. We were close, or at least I felt close.

Reston, did he walk with mom and me to the bus station? I can’t remember. I do remember also the last night, going to a party, were we that drunk I don’t remember. There was some outside party, people wearing costumes and I was by myself but that is not Reston’s fault. I remember being on his balcony earlier in the day, sharing some craft beer he really liked, I thought it was expensive. Beer is beer. The talking was nice, I felt pride in my brother, I’d forgotten how intelligent he was.

I can’t remember the last time I saw my father. I see him on Skype every now and then, bumbling good naturedly in the background, a cheerful HEY BEAR before getting itchy feet and going back to watching television. How did I get to the airport on that trip? Did we go together? I remember being in a restaurant with him in Goa, him telling me his fears, that he was unsure if this was the life he’d dreamed about. Interesting to hear in those we look to for advice such similar sentiments that eat at our own hearts. I remember meeting him in Dar, his plane early, him sitting on the curb like a little boy waiting for the school bus. He even had a back pack, why did I suggest that? Shit, when was the last time I saw my father? I remember taking him to my favourite dive bar, the Cambie, and watching that strange woman try to flirt with him, strange that women might flirt with my father. Should I fabricate a memory? Should I go through my photos and try to determine. How dare I not remember my own life. It has been over a year since I have seen him.

My mother is an easy memory for the last time I saw her, her voice always breaking at the very end, myself watching her go through airport security and when she is gone she is gone, was her visiting me here in Kigali just a dream?

Who else enters my mind? Jordan at Mount Rushmore, what a nice trip that was. Running with Victor in Lethbridge, Mike’s place, a family that was my family but won’t be my family again. Alexia being sweet, leaving that shitty Mexican restaurant, our hearts close together but I don’t know if they speak anymore. Pedro and me getting drunk into nothingness, the glow of being a finalist at MIT 100K. I think he walked with me the morning after to the subway, did he leave me there, at the top and watch me descend the escalator? Julia in Kampala, making sure she got on the bus, seeing her only so many hours, just enough time for her to make me feel a love for a family that is my own and still is my own but is so far away. Who else is there? Could I go on like this forever? Just meandering through my memories, pleasantly opening doors as I walk around. I remember going for a walk trying to go through my life in reverse, remembering all the different beds I had slept on in my life. I need to go to the pool, but let me open a few more doors. Lyndsay at a coffee shop trying to order concert tickets to a band I’d never heard of but now I sing karaoke to in Kigali. Amie dropping me off in her RAV4 with there being the thinnest crust of snow on the ground. My grandma waving from her window at the top of the retirement community. Guy, all I remember is there was emotion in his voice. Ceri at fucking Newark, or was that her coming? Harley on Skype yesterday wearing grandpas chain. Roberta in Toronto walking through the cold air along the water.

Let me go to the pool.

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