Photo Album Backwards

by practicalspactical

I flip through the photo album labeled Fall, Spring 2001-2002, and watch as the smiles are slowly washed out of our faces — flat-lined mouths that evidence the trace of bonemash and uncurl. Some find it harder than others to bring themselves to smile.  My grandfather’s face is particularly haunting — the knowledge is there. It’s on my grandmother’s as well – and my father’s and my aunt’s. It does not appear to be on mine. I don’t yet know what is coming.

I flip and flip. See a happy face on one cousin, a sad face on two others. See myself delighted by the children running — distracting. There are pictures of my mother’s birthday — and I realize that by now, my uncle is dead. Sitting on the couch, flipping through the pages, I begin to start to cry — the crying however cannot sustain itself and fails (an impotence of tears).

I get to the end, and begin to flip backwards, and catching myself doing it, smile one of those same thin smiles.

Hugin and Mugin crouched on my shoulder.