Saturday and Sunday were the forty-second anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Sad days for me, filled with bitter memories. Ironically, those days I was at the CityLit gathering and at the Lit and Art event, respectively, both in Baltimore. I offered my books for sale and read from Last of the Annamese.
I was mostly successful in maintaining my composure at both events. But Sunday night, at Lit and Art, I read aloud for the audience the first scene (the prologue) and the last scene from Last of the Annamese. My emotions almost caught up with me. Annamese is about the fall of Saigon. I read with tears in my eyes.
So yesterday and the day before, the first and second of May, were my days to recover, just as they were forty-two years ago. I spent the days doing hard physical work. But my mind turned to the story I lived, then told in Annamese. At the beginning and again at the end of the novel, the protagonist, Chuck Griffin, asks himself, “Do all memories have to hurt?”
Some days they do. Those days, I don’t blog.