At 26, with the assistance of a team of psychological facilitators spending down a healthy post-doctoral research grant, he began to retrieve repressed memories of abuse he had suffered as a child of five. His age at the time of the abominations is a conjecture, derived from a guess at the height from which he recalls having cowered before his tormentors. Any detailing of the boy’s humiliations would be prurient beyond the scope of our purposes here and likely would violate the rights of his publisher, though on the basis of just one batch of unsubstantiated accusations, which the team felt obligated to report to authorities, the boy’s parents were investigated, ostracized by family and lifelong friends, essentially driven from their jobs, home and neighborhood. Their son’s retrieved memories were vivid, compelling, utterly incontrovertible. Regrettably, we can say no more about them here than that they featured a basement location, both parents, masked or hooded strangers with sharp objects, and a donkey or a drawing of a donkey. A second, more resourceful team of therapists helped resolve these memories to closely coincide with the actual layout of the split-level home of the boy’s childhood. To no avail did the parents appeal they had not had a basement. The “subterranean” abominations are now understood to have been suffered in the rumpus room. Though he has not returned home since commencing his therapy, the son professes a willingness to forgive and a generous understanding of the human frailty which compels even those least equipped for childcare nonetheless to reproduce themselves. A book-length memoir of his earliest memories and of the love affair which blossomed, bloomed, attracted pests and ultimately wilted between the young man and the therapist who championed his cause will appear in bookstores in time for the gift-buying season.

Copyright ©1999-2006 David Hodges