“One of the saddest sentences I know is ‘I wish I had asked my mother about that.’” –William Zinsser

If I knew what it was, I would tell it.

Had I known when I remembered, I’d have scaled the mountaintop for stone tablets and set straight to chiseling rock.

If there had been time. If paper and pen had been handy. If I had known. If I could recall. If.

If I am to be damned, it will be for the sins of omission (stories un-lived, much less untold), more than anything I’ve done. So easy to shut the blinds, turn my head, avert my eyes. Much harder to clear my throat and speak up or speak out or down or around or through or about. Oh, I’d have been amazed at Peter stepping out of the boat in the storm, would have applauded and been inspired and felt something stir within me, calling me out onto the water’s surface. Or calling me, at least, to call out. But then he’d begin to sink, and I would have secretly celebrated my discretion—and the sick and sad side of this is that I would also be celebrating his failure and affirming my own inaction.


So much inaction. So much forgotten. So much lost. I must take comfort in the Snickers: the ones my mom packed in my lunch every day, or if not every day then often enough that these treats became part of my school persona.

All those lunches: what did I eat, where did I sit, who did I talk to, who did I ignore, who ignored me? I could offer some facts but the real fact is so much of it is gone, gone. But the Snickers I remember, the Snickers my mom will still bring up from time to time and she will say, yes she will still say, there was a snickers every day. And it will not matter to either of us that there wasn’t.