FragLit

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Haunting Memories

Fall 2009 :: Current Issue

2009 :: Issue 5/Fall :: Haunting Memories

The Strange Loop

Wm. Anthony Connolly

I just saw a picture of someone I knew, briefly, for a short period of time, a long time ago. Just now he was in front of me as he is today, in a picture smiling and frozen in a family moment, uninhibited and not concerned that one day the picture would be on the Internet; he is unaware of my gaze. He always struck me as a magical person, it was in his eyes, and those eyes showed someone who always carried himself in a joyous state, as if knowing something others did not. I never told him this. It wasn’t something young boys did—talk about what was in each other’s eyes. But I remember that it was so and in the picture I can still see it. I wonder what it is? But at the same time maybe I don’t want to know definitively, to know that maybe it’s nothing at all.

I float back to when we were little boys playing in the neighborhood. We’d been running around, doing little boy things, on some supernatural adventure. I walked him to his house and just before going back inside for dinner he turned, smiled, and fixed me with his eyes, crazy lapis lazuli set in a face of burnished dusk. Like he knew right then, right then even as a child, that we would not be close friends and that we would grow older and become members of different tribes. It was in his eyes, a mystical ultramarine blue twinkle. I was that close.

I float back there, doing some kind of strange loop in through his eyes and back out. And find just now it was there again, that uninhibited stare. The twinkle, mystical and blue and I do not know him; do not know him now to return his message in a space that close again. I don’t know how to tell him I saw, I saw him when we were little boys.

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