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Perhaps we had

published: 2010-01-14

I recognized her, but she was out of context. She was sitting on a couch, her knees wide, a majestic belly holding her second child between them. Her two-year-old bashed a drum.
“Aren’t you gorgeous,” she said to my three-year-old. She briefly glanced at me at which point I knew who she was.
“Anne?” I asked.
The fog in her eyes did not lift as she nodded. Her expression remained unchanged. Only when she looked at my three-year-old did she smile. She spoke towards him when she said, “I thought I recognized your face, but I wasn’t sure.” Her voice sounded like she was high. It must have been from exhaustion. Either that or valium.
“Are you still acting?” I asked.
“No,” she said, “not with children.”
“It is hard isn’t it?” I said.
But she went on to say, “I have no desire to anymore. Not one bit.” She was still speaking in the direction of my three-year-old. Or rather past him, to the floor. I envied het for having been released of that need. I was about to say “good for you,” when she said, “it’s sad. But there you have it.”
Again, she looked at me with that numbed expression, I felt like shaking her.
Do you remember me? Don’t you remember? How we all looked up at you? You. Tall, wild and crazy. Those black boots that came up to your thighs. How you inhabited them as if you owned the world. You. Who had tattoos of dragons crawling up your shoulderblades. How you were an explosion on stage. The way you rolled around on it re-enacting what a Russian widow must have felt upon losing her husband who was trapped in a submarine. And what of all those nights we got together? We. The actresses and the writers. How we planned to execute our dreams. To perform the pieces we created on those evenings.
Instead I asked, “so when are you due?”

She looked at the wall behind me and said, “23rd March.”
I left her there, on the couch. I still wasn’t sure whether she remembered who I was. Or maybe I had promised to do something but hadn’t. Perhaps we all had.

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