The poignant images conveyed the sense of time lost, never to be regained. He always felt this way when he looked at photos from his past. What he hadn’t expected was the ache: over faces he barely knew and from the childhood glow of family who no longer spoke to him.
Growing up, he had to submit to the punishing will of his father-a man full of unearned pride and withering anger. His mother tearfully retreated to her room at every opportunity, having learned through experience that she would never win. Once he was old enough to realize that the only way to retain any self-worth was to break it off for good, he took a bag and flew as far as his meager savings would take him.
He didn’t really want the photos anymore, so he figured this last wallow was permissible. He placed the small stack of memories in the worn box and dropped it in the trash. Sentimentality didn’t suit him.
© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.