October 1, 2005

Background

Her hair was blond or perhaps light brown, and she wasn’t tall. I know this because I’m not tall myself and wouldn’t have liked a girl who was taller than me. Similarly she couldn’t have been especially thin or fat, because I would remember that. So much of what I believe derives from what I don’t remember.

She sat at the front of my row. I was three seats back. I can see the classroom a little; it had a door at the front, on my right. Several times I’ve tried to get up and walk to the door and rotate the memory so I can see the room as it appeared when I entered. But I’ve never managed get up, let alone walk anywhere.

My fellow students occupy the space around me and yet have no appearance. It would be wrong to draw them with blank faces, because they have no faces. They’re just there. It’s as though the room is an unfinished painting, most of which is scribbled in pencil. Or really, it’s more like a photograph in which the background is out of focus, so that the foreground, the object of the composition, stands out. Except this photograph has no foreground.