Thursday, January 2, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom, excerpt nine)

from National Book Award winner The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom:

Even though I knew that nothing would ever be the same, displaced and fragmented as everything was, I tried not to let on. At the magazine office, when people asked how my family was—and they always did ask, sometimes multiple times a day—I said fine or so-so or making it. I did not completely know; they were still reacting to Water. As was I. One day, I took a stroll down Harlem’s Fifth Avenue toward Central Park to hear Joan Didion when a heavy, mean rain started, sending everyone darting for cover, nearly knocking each other over, reminding me what a hard and treacherous thing it is when Water has got you running.

Whenever someone asked where I was from and I said New Orleans, they asked, “Were you there?” “I was not,” I always said. “But my family was.” That absence, my not being there physically, began to register in me on subtle emotional frequencies, I can see now, as failure.

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