“Ask me something only I would know.”
You say this to your wife because you know you’re human. You can feel it in the familiar ache in your back, and the fear writhing in your guts. You feel it in the cold seeping into your bare feet from the kitchen floor. You know you’re real because you remember.
In the primary memory i carry, it is June 29, 1993 and, I, Beston Barnett, am nineteen years old. I am lying in my sleeping bag on the ground beside River Road, eleven kilometers northeast of Moab, Utah, USA, Earth, Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Supercluster. A woman is there beside me in her own sleeping bag. Her name is Ann Surmelian, and she is two years older than me. We are listening to Patsy Cline’s greatest hits.
We looked out over the water, Saga and I. The surface was grey and a little agitated, as if the lake itself felt unsettled by the eerie green of the sky and the dark winged things wheeling in the distance. It could be anxious for both of us, then. I was reeling hard enough from having Saga here, when I hadn’t seen her in the flesh for nearly eight months.
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