A Com­pen­dium of Loss

Hello Mr. Magazine - - NEWS - Text by Thom James Art by Jim Ver­burg

You’ll forget the name of your first best friend. He was half-Greek, half-Amer­i­can, and 10 years old, but he spoke as if he al­ready knew ev­ery­thing the world had to of­fer. He looked like a fin­ished puz­zle, color­ful and com­plete. He told you that his mother was a psy­chic, and that she knew what other peo­ple were think­ing, so you would try to stop think­ing in her pres­ence so that she could not hear you. Your name is Mark, but in her thick ac­cent, she de­clared you “Muck.” You hardly went round to your best friend’s house be­cause of her, and took him by the hand and went to play out­side in­stead. You’d eat each other’s lunch un­derneath the maple tree and watch boys trade foot­ball cards and girls trade se­crets. You’d do cart­wheels across the grass un­til your el­bows gave in and your knees bent back­wards. You’d see who could hold their breath for the long­est time both above and be­low wa­ter. You’ll lose th­ese mem­o­ries one day to make room for re­mem­ber­ing recipes, ad­dresses, and birth­days. Even­tu­ally, you will forget those, too.

You’ll won­der if you will pass him on the street and still rec­og­nize his face, the out­line of his body, or the deep grooves that lined his fore­head when he frowned. You will. You’ll bump into him on the ten­nis court and lose all six games of the set. You’ll stare at him, look­ing bet­ter in ten­nis shorts than you do, his legs like thun­der. He’ll have no ex­cess weight and no re­ced­ing hair­line, but you will no­tice that he has a tat­too on his fore­arm: the name of a man, the same name as your hus­band. You’ll say that you both must have great taste.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.