I took the elevator down to the cafeteria to get a snack. I got in and help the door with my hand for a guy getting in with a mail cart. I was struck with the memory of holding an old elevator open using a playing card.
It was something like twelve years ago. My mom was moving out of the house into an apartment. I think my parents may still have been lying to us (and themselves?) at this point, telling us that it was just a tmeporary thing. My brother, sister, and I were helping my mom move in. We wanted to hold the elevator so that we could more easily load things in. My brother investigated and saw that the way it knew whether the door was blocked was with an electronic eye. So, if you just stuck your arm at some random spot, the door would ignore you and try to close anyway. So he pulled out a playing card (my brother was very into magic, especially card tricks, so I think he always carried a deck with him. Suddenly struck with the memory of him showing me how to do one of the tricks and then getting mad at me for doing the trick for other people, since I would give it away by not being good enough at the trick) and arced it so that it stayed in place over the electronic eye. I remember using that trick at least one other time with those elevators.
The only other solid memory I have of that apartment is the night we started the Gulf War, whenever that was in January of 1991. My brother, sister, and I were all visiting my mom. I think it was a school night, but I can't remember. I think it marked the first time that I was really aware of significant world events like that, history in the making.
I don't think this is usual for me, this flood of memories. Or maybe it is, and the unusual thing is wanting to write about all of them. I've thought I really should write about my brother some time. The one time I set out to write a poem about his death, it turned into a poem about my father. I wouldn't know what to write, though. Well, more to the point, I'm worried that whatever I would write would have to be a good tribute, and I would put huge amounts of pressure on myself to do something that was perfect, that captured his essence perfectly, and I don't because I know I wouldn't be able to make it perfect.