Longreads

Mary Horlock | Excerpt adapted from Joseph Gray’s Camouflage: A Memoir of Art, Love and Deception | Unbound | September 2018 | 22 minutes (5,778 words)

This story starts with a picture: a vast turquoise sky, an endless yellow beach, a mother and her child playing in the sand.

My grandmother lifts a trembling hand and points towards the smallest figure.

“That is me.”

She now has a room measuring nine feet by five. There isn’t much wall space, so the picture hangs in the corridor outside, beside the sign: “No.18: Maureen Barclay.”

Maureen Barclay is a widow and there are many here. Some don’t know where they are, nor do they remember the lives they have lived. Maureen is different, she remembers plenty. But with this blessing comes a curse: the older she becomes, the more she worries what she might soon forget. She has moved into a nursing…

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