Memory Work

Posted on | Filed Under: Blog

The end of the semester and the coming holidays (birthdays included in this house) sometimes makes it hard to write good, long blog posts, so until my life regains some order, I’ll be indulging in some memory work for awhile. I love how memory works and following the threads that bring a moment from a long time ago up into the focus of here-and-now. Here’s my memory for today:

This morning on Facebook, a friend posted a photo of a bottle of rubber cement. The brush is what set off the memory of a facial mask my sisters and cousins (male and female alike) and I used to love to take out and paint all over our faces. It was my grandmother’s and, somehow, her supply of this amazing stuff lasted throughout my childhood, a kind of cosmetic loaves and fishes miracle. We especially loved putting it on during the hot weather months, when the brush of goop felt cool on our faces and we would sit in front of the box fan in her living room and wait for it to dry, being careful not to smile or talk or grimace or anything else that would cause it to prematurely break loose at the edges. It smelled faintly of cucumber. When it was sufficiently dry, we would begin to peel it off, going as slow as we could so as to get the whole thing off in one piece. Afterward, our faces looked fresh and shiny, probably because the mask had not so much cleaned out our pores, but removed most of the protective peach-fuzz from our skin.


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