Excerpt from Be Good, “Prologue”

Prologue: Morgan

Encoding refers to the initial perception and registration of information. Storage is the retention of encoded information over time. Retrieval refers to the processes involved in using stored information.

My mother (always tactless and almost always drunk) says in a long distance call from Toronto to Montreal, “Write it down, honey.”

A pack a day smoker, a functional alcoholic, a broken woman, her insides riddled with disease, her left breast and her uterus removed, always telling me to write it down, as if a script has some grand importance and validity, capable of overshadowing reality.
My reality. Her reality.

“Write it down, honey.”

And I remember they (whoever they are) always said, “Let your reader know where you are coming from and where you are going. Let them know where the end is. Be succinct. Clarify.”

They told me there had to be a beginning, a middle and an end to things, even if you are (as I am) speaking from far beyond and far before the end. When you are naïve and apt to believe, you truly depend on the notion that there is a clear beginning, middle and end.

That there is a truth and a progression among all these recollections.

Perhaps I am not so apt to believe in that kind of truth. I believe that things are much better when broken into pieces, because the whole is deceptive at best.

My past is a carefully linked chain of lies and my present is nothing more than the sparkle of swept dust.


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