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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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John Budan

Memory Loss

They are twins and were the best of friends until twenty years ago. They had been drinking late in a local bar when my uncle started to criticize my father's favorite actor. When he claimed that Al Pacino mumbled, my father stormed out and since then both have been too stubborn to resume the sixty year bond they had. Though they were neighbors, they never spoke to each other again.

My father does not have much longer to live. When I enter the intensive care unit, I see my frail, stooping, uncle sitting at the foot of the bed. He has tears in his eyes. My father stares intently but does not appear to recognize or remember him. My uncle says he has come to apologize for criticizing somebody in the movies. He can’t remember if it was Al Pacino or Robert de Niro. He says he always got those two mixed up.

last visitor
a nurse
turns off lights