Questioning memory is a sad tale that brings victims of crimes under scrutiny.
Oh, how I remember the sounds that plagued our streets. Children laughing and the happy sounds of the ice cream man — the man who peddled so much joy. I had to find him. I heard the sound coming down our lane, a street that can still reckon desire in me. He was coming, but I had to find money to get him. He wouldn’t stop without the wave of a dollar. I had a fair sense of what a dollar was and knew I could find them in my mother’s wallet, so the search began. It wasn’t difficult because my mother was easy, her habits unchanging. She kept her purse in the same spot. Her eyes always looked the same – dull and distant, and her hair was always piled on top of her head like some sort of trophy. Her breath always remained the same sickening smell of a woman who would take what she wanted at any cost. At last, I discovered the green slip that would stop the man with the music and put into my hands the small pleasure I so desperately needed to bring a moment’s relief to my dismal world. I told him what I wanted, he listened, and handed me an ice cream bar. I remember the day well. Somebody listened to a request I had. However small that deed was, I liked it – maybe more than the taste of that cold, sweet treat.From the book, A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own.
The memory of this ice cream truck is the same time period that the murder occurred. This street was the street I lived on when I was molested by my father, my mother and their friend.
Which memory do you think the saints will question? The ice cream? The murder? The child molestation?
Each of these memories happened when I was three living on Delaware Lane. They are all true, but the ice cream memory has never been contested.
I can have the ice cream memory and no bystander will tell me I’m lying. But, that same bystander cannot believe the rape and murder story?
Same child — same mind. I trust my memories. I trust my mind.
If I had allowed the naysayers into my being and denied myself, I wouldn’t be standing as strong as I stand today.
Don’t let anybody tell you that your memories are not real.