Missing Pages

“I heard you didn’t recognize your daughter the other day and I was wondering if you could tell me what that feels like, the actual not remembering, not any of that remorse or being pissed off stuff,” Ashley Goetz asked old Ken Parkworth, who grunted and continued to busy himself with a pencil and a marble notebook in his room at the Bitterroot Village Home.

Old Ken closed his notebook with a thump, glanced menacingly at the earnest psychology grad student and said, “Okay, but when I’m done you gotta answer a question for me, too.

“It’s kinda like your mind’s this huge history book, no cover, no illustrations, teeny, tiny print, with most of the pages from the index in the back ripped out that could help you find what you’re looking for…but sometimes those pages are ripped out, too,” the old high school art teacher said.

Ashley blinked twice, clicked the STOP button on her phone’s recorder and said in a hush, “Thanks, Ken, now what can I do for you?”

The old man opened his notebook, flipped its blue-lined pages around toward Ashley, revealing a stunningly accurate pencil portrait of the daughter he’d sent away Saturday in tears, and whispered, “Could you please tell me her name?”

A lunchtime write prompted by Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word, Pages.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

4 thoughts on “Missing Pages

  1. Different parts of the brain are used for different functions. We have a 87 year old woman in the skilled nursing center where I work. She can’t remember what she says from one moment to the next, but she can sit in front of the piano and play (quite beautifully I might add) many ofthe songs she knew from years ago. And even in the midst of her advanced dementia, she’s had lucid moments and has spoken of herself as knowing something is wrong, because she can’t remember anymore. Your story has captured such a moment perfectly.

    • The idea for this story came to me on my little lunchtime walk this afternoon. Five sentences/ideas formed and I knew I had something. And I thought of you, as my expert in this field. I hoped I got this right. Thank you so much, dear Gin!

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