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‘Cary’ by Lorelei Glaser

— Joyce Chong

Dark, small insects swarm from the bag and escape into closets, down the hall, infesting our home. I’ve never seen cockroaches before. These insects appear to me an omen, a glimpse into another world dark and irrational, evicting us from the safe, socially correct world.

This week I have a short memoir from Split Lip Magazine written by Lorelei Glaser. ‘Cary’ is powerfully moving, recalling the inexplicable and unexpected turn in a loved one towards violence and darkness. Glaser recreates in the reader the sense of fear and uncertainty that befalls parents whose child has become a stranger to them. What was once familiar has become unreachable, unpredictable.

All around are white faces, still and fixed, open-mouthed, bent forward, staring down at me, and at the same time, pulling back. There is a terrible silence, a failure of some sort.

Glaser writes of a difficult topic, the complicated twisted matter of love and harm and violence and motherhood, the impossibility of separating black and white from the muddied ink-wet pages of reality. Here, it is possible to love someone who could hurt you. Here, it is possible to hurt and be hurt by those you love, and there is no easy explanation why.

My son has disappeared somewhere behind his eyes. I can’t find him. He doesn’t hear me. Our struggle is silent.

Split Lip Magazine