is shot… completely.
That’s how Travis explained it all to me. That his short term memory is all over the place and that he forgot who I was and that right then, in that moment when he attacked me he thought I was trying to break-in. Easy really – it’s why he’s always building the sheds – because he forgets what he’s doing – its why he lives on his own, by the sea… in a shack…
Eddie stood there at Travis’ side looking at his knuckle and looking at me, he looked ashamed, maligned, like he wanted the ground to open beneath him and take his shame away… I felt sorry for him and reach out my hand. He took mind in his, swallowed my palm in his paw and gave me that look in the eyes… that look that seemed to weigh me up, to judge me as a person. I now understood he was trying to remember me. Fix me. Mount me in the frame of his memory before I slipped away.
Eddie leaves – hang dog and sheepish to chop wood.
Travis’ explained as he cleaned my cuts that Eddie been dumped at the barn years back now… just left for Travis to find broken, disorientated and confused outside his door… Eddie looked up at him as he opened the door with that look of the regretful school-boy and Travis scooped him up and took him in. His story, what there was of it involved crime and an exploitation of his memory problems. Eddie was the perfect crumunal; if you wanted someone to forget who had asked them to commit a crime, to forget how they committed a crime, to forget whether a crime had been committed at all then ask someone with no memory to carry it out.
As long as at some juncture he remembered to commit the crime.
It seems that eventually Eddie hadn’t and was beaten and discarded for lapse.
So he woke on Travis’ doorstep and Travis did what Travis does – he fed him, bathed him and took him in.
And through all this I can’t help but think that this is the most that Travis has ever told me about his past.
My wounds are bound, I step outside. Eddie is there. His eyes meet mine and his mouth curves into a snarl. Then I feel a hand on my shoulder, Travis’ hand and Eddie’s features relax, his mouth forms an ‘O’ of understanding and he resumes chopping wood.
I step out onto the snow coated shingle and hear from behind the beginnings of a conversation.
“What are you doing here Travis?”
I decide to sleep in the car.