as i woke this morning, i couldn’t remember her laugh. in my hypnopompia, i couldn’t remember if i’d ever even seen her laugh. if she was still able to laugh by the time i was born. i could only remember her gaze.
“oh, she’s looking at you! she always reacts to your face.”
“must be my weird hair,” or “because i’m so funny-lookin’”, or something, I’d say, half to myself.
but i’ve always thought, inside, it’s because she could really see me.
and i don’t know what she saw, or understood, but in those moments, i’ve never felt proud.
it might be the haze of grief, but fully awake, i truly can’t remember the last time i saw her laugh. and the last time i ever even made her smile is an absolute mystery. did i ever? i hear a laugh in my mind that i think to be hers but there is no face tied to it. i wonder if it’s something i imagined from a poem or saw in a movie and tied to her, a phantom memory creation, to enforce a flimsy recall. or something from one of my dreams where she was magically cured. walking, smiling freely, playing with me.
i do remember all the coins i threw, all the candles i blew, and all the wishes attached to them.
“i wish she would be better”
as if it could happen that easily. as if it was even plausible.
as if the simple toss of my hand or heavy sigh of my breath, carried by shallow “good intentions” would compensate for my absence. i didn’t know what to do, how to comprehend, and could only hide.
while she was trapped.