February 6, 2002

Dark

The voice is always the same: a kind of a barely controlled rage. It doesn’t frighten me. I hear it, and know, and I’m with her again.

This most recent time she shouted, “What the fuck is your problem!” It’s always something like this. I put my arm around her, to wake her.

“I had a bad dream,” she said.

“I know. It’s okay.”

“You were there. My mom was in the basement screaming at us to get downstairs. She would always scream like that. I don’t think she had any idea. I felt embarrassed because you were there.”

I pulled her closer and fixed the blanket.

“She doesn’t know what happened,” she said. “She’s forgotten everything.”

“I have too,” I said. “It’s easier that way.”

Her cheek was resting against my chest. I felt her tilt her head back to look at me, not that she would have seen anything in the dark.

“That’s true,” she said, “you have.”