First I’d like to remind you all of that feeling of feetie pajamas; you’ve got that thin layer of white plastic between your feet and the floor, and your feet kind of stick to it on the inside, though you can slide around a whole lot better on the out. It is this kind of memory that is beginning to awaken the sad monster.
Anyway. In my parent’s bathroom was a mirror that I believe I’ve described before: it was the kind you see at a tailor’s, or in more expensive clothing stores. It was made up of several full-length mirrors in wooden frame, all on hinges, and you could fold the mirrors around you (if you were five), and be inside a mirror cocoon. But this isn’t about the mirror. This is about the tiny photo.
Beside the mirror was a set of drawers made from the same wood that framed the glass. They were built into the wall, beside my father’s closet. (Maybe I’m making this up—I have full memories that turn out to be completely wrong.) Anyway, one of the things that my father kept in those drawers was a little jewelry box, and in that jewelry box was a golden charm. It was a tiny book, that you could open, with a page made of gold inside. On that page, inside my father’s drawer, was a tiny photo. It was of my brother Ian, when he was a baby.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I figured my dad loved Ian more. That and the story about how, when he had a heart attack while he was sick, he called Ian’s name. Diana, my brilliant and glamorous therapist, believes that my father adored me. I was his only daughter. There is evidence to think this might be true. But it was not in the jewelry box in my parent’s bathroom. I will have to look further.