This story was originally published on The Pittsburgher’s predecessor, The Dog Door Cultural.
Kenny’s getting weird again. Our time together seems to hang heavy in her mind. Often, after a particularly good day, she’ll say things like “That was a good one, wasn’t it?”
She doesn’t usually hear my confirmations. Her eyes are already off, running through the day (just once more) from start to finish.
She starts to compare the good days to the bad days, and by comparison the bad days suddenly seem really bad to her. They leave a sour taste that lingers and paints a murky lake in her eyes.
“Today wasn’t so good. I mean, not like that other day, right? Do you remember that day? That was a really good one. We should do more days like that.”
I know the day she’s talking about because she brings it up a lot, a relentless measure of fun and silliness that we must always live up to. To her credit, it was superb. That day. It was when–
No, won’t get into it. Don’t want to end up like Kenny. With pupils stoned and made of glass that reflects another time.
When we talk about that day, Kenny’s happy, her gaze agile, she slaps her hands to her knees, “yes, exactly!” She’s always enthused before I’ve finished speaking. Even if she doesn’t remember quite what I’m talking about. Kenny and I often remember different things about that day. For example, she doesn’t remember how we stopped at the 24-hour store on our way home and picked up a family-size pack of vegetarian burgers. The burgers were a crude shade of red and the cardboard sleeve showed a picture of animated beetroots with the slogan: “Bleeds like real meat!”
When we’ve exhausted the memory of that day (there are only so many times you can say, “Yeah…that was so funny”) we can sense the room peeling into focus, mulching our air, and before you know it you can feel us sitting there in it, in the present. Kenny nods slowly a few more times, her head bobbing rhythmically to the pace of what’s-already-faded. And then one last time, “Yeah.” ▲
Miranda Shepherd grew up in London, UK before moving to Canada for university. She just recently graduated from McGill University with a BA in Philosophy and English Literature. Having loved her last four years here, Miranda continues to live in Montreal for the time-being.