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10:42 p.m. - December 26, 2003
I'd like to think I've gained more brushstrokes but I see it clearly: I'm dealing with pointilism, not swaths, and I want to despair
Since sheís in my immediate vicinity, Iíve been asking my mother inchoate questions or conversation prompts as a way to fill in the gaps between childhood memories. About it, specifically, to develop a rudimentary chronology. I remember the house in San Francisco on a hill, then the house in the leafy suburb, but nothing between. Described memories and she gave me labels Ė that was aunt Miriamís apartment, that was uncle Timís car Ė and asked her about the neighbors next door, did she remember anything about them? Only a few things about squash and strawberries, a divorce, how I was always afraid of the father. Tell me more. The guy Ė not the father, but his son Ė drove me to soccer practice and was an assistant coach. Helped me improve my kicking and dribbling skills in the street, in the backyard. She says he was like an older brother. The family moved next door when I was 7 and my first puppy was from their litter.

Something she mentioned bothers me. She says I adored him, wanted to play football instead of soccer because he did. Conversation drifted after that, and Iíve been ruminating since. If my motherís recollection is right and I did adore him, how does that fit into my fear of him? Did I adore him before, and fear after, or concurrently?

How am I to make sense of contradictions? What if, like *Sam, I sought it out and was a willing participant? I donít know how to put everything together, or disassemble into constituent parts and see how the pieces are joined.

It is a lonely thought, daunting and sad, to not lack insight into oneís life. I canít look back and say anything with certainty and conviction, cannot follow patterns to beginnings and endings and say to myself, This is me without wondering this way because of me being me, or because of what happened?


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