15. The Goddamn Slide into Memory

Merrill mentions Proust several times in The Changing Light at Sandover. Proust never mentions Jimmy but would have if he’d known him. It’s funny how they seem to be talking to one another across the emptiness. The damn catheter is still in, bag strapped to my calf. I get up twice at night to empty it. Today take Dexamethasone, a steroid, to protect me from the Taxotere they’ll stuff me with tomorrow. Do you sense the relationships among these varied things, the drugs, the writers, the books, the goddamn slide into memory. There is no past, I’ve figured that out, but only the memory, which someone said is really the memory of a memory, and not at all like what might have happened. And then think that everyone has memories that don’t match up. Every day begins anew, de novo, and we have to figure it out all over again. What is this cup? Where is the yogurt? Why is that window open? And who is that in the backyard beckoning, that small child who resembles no one and yet is compellingly familiar?

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