Sophie Barbasch


I took this photo of my brother a few minutes before we had our first fight. I was 27, he was 21. He started bringing up past events–events that happened before he was born. I was not expecting to talk aboutĀ serious thingsĀ that day. We had two warring versions of the story. Even if he had been there, it would be very possible to have two incompatible versions. Siblings, even full siblings, and not half siblings like us, can have such different experiences that sometimes it does not resemble the same family at all. Trying to talk through these differences is futile; it’s like trying to tell someone they witnessed something they don’t remember seeing. We were each trying to do this, and on that cold January day, as the sun was setting, I was plunged back into the watery vagueness of memories from 20 years prior. In fact, I really only remember one thing from that time: during my parents custody battle, the lawyer met with me alone. She told me that she had a son who was my age. She showed me the photo. I remember his face.