“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.