I am fine until very suddenly I am not, chopped off at the knee by a memory cascade triggered by the most banal of things. I idly think of cleaning the shower curtain, running it through the wash, and instantly I flash to the one Tony and I bought together in Seattle, printed with a map of the world of colourful countries, indelibly marked with borders and cities in small black letters and a thousand domestic memories. Cleaning the bathroom mirror the day we moved in, hot water, hair dye, kissing through the clear plastic expanse of the Baltic Sea, the day I put his painting up in the kitchen next to the oversized pocket watch clock I bought for the wall, hauled on the bus from Vancouver as the perfect housewarming present, the evening we curled up on the floor of the bedroom closet, reading children’s stories by flashlight in the artificial dark. Hours spent in every room of a home we built for two, an apartment we found together, it’s all there, trapped in the recollection of one simple object, one of hundreds I’ve examined or held in my hands.

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