September 24th, 2020

Retrospective: 5 years.

Calendar year 2015, I was getting settled once again in Portland. In January I took another round of classes at Portland state, and had a memorable nighttime visit from my sister:

Stephanie - who has been missing for some time, it's unclear why - appears at the door. By this time our father is asleep. She talks about wanting to die. "Why do you want to die," I ask her, thinking maybe if I listen and understand, maybe I can help her to not want to die.

"I don't feel like I'm good at anything," she says. "If I died, would anybody miss me?"

There's a notebook in her hand, with a page full of her drawings and doodles. Wherever she's been, it seems she has been following current events, because her next story seems to be something about Mohammed. I think it is called "Mohammed and the Feather".

I want to talk to her, tell her how much I've missed her, but the words won't come. I just hold her little body in my arms and start sobbing until the tears come.

Then I wake up, and remember how long she's been gone, and that she's not coming back.

I couldn't bring Stephanie back, but I did end up writing a story called "Mohammed and the Feather".

2015 was also the year I discovered RWBY and began my series of Toni Morrison reviews.

Most notably, 2015 was the year of my visit to Iraqi Kurdistan. There was no shortage of excitement, but for a fifty-plus American tourist, those slippery steps at Bekhal were by far the most dangerous thing I did in the Middle East.

2015 began and ended with visits from Bunny. Part of me still wanted to be with Bunny's mother - but we have to learn to let the past go, and move on.