[LOCUS: MEMORY TEST]
Please read instructions carefully:
The following passages are different versions of the same life event based on scenarios you have described to your memory rehabilitation professional in past consultations. While paying close attention to the underlined key words, circle the number of the narratives that seem most familiar to you or appear to be closest to what might have been the actual occurrence.
1. Christmas Day. You are 10. Dad is drunk. Your younger Brother, who is 3, is coloring the book he was gifted that morning on the living room carpet. Mom is, referring to Dad, quote, "Tired of this shit." Dad rises from his recliner, crosses the room, stepping over Brother, and slaps Mom across the face. You begin to cry, and your thoughts go to the .45 under the couch cushions. Dad proceeds to strike Mom as she holds her hands up, and they retreat screaming into the kitchen. You pick up the phone and call your Grandfather. He says he doesn't want to get involved.
2. Christmas Day. You don't feel 10, but older. Dad is drunk, and is helping Brother, who is 3 and often called "not my son," to color within the lines. Mom politely asks how someone could disappear for five hours after saying they're stepping out for "some fresh air," and then reappear without the ability to walk. Dad smiles and kindly explains that he felt a panic attack coming on and needed to get away for a while, visiting his brother while out. Mom smiles in reply. You shift on the couch, the weight of the .45 underneath the cushion hoisting your right leg an inch higher above your left.
3. Christmas Day. You feel much younger than 10. Dad is sober, and is reclining while watching television personalities rejoice in the Lord Almighty. Occasionally he will bellow "Amen" at the men on screen. Brother is asking Dad questions about rapture, and is concerned he's not a good enough kid to be taken "up to heaven." Mom is drunk and interjects, saying, "Neither of you boys are going to hell; I'd go in your place." Dad's face flickers red, and he tells her not to say anything like that again. You watch the speed at which his expression changes, and you are reminded of the speed that a .45 slug leaves the barrel.
4. Christmas Day. You are 30, and know what is about to happen. Dad is drunk and sits down in his recliner, announcing, "Well, I've done my good deed for the day." Brother, who can count to 3, has chosen a different colored crayon for each member of the family and has set them aside to draw a portrait later. Mom opens her mouth to begin her argument. You draw the .45 from under the couch cushion and fire two rounds into Dad's face.
5. Christmas Day. You are unsure of your age. Dad has been gone for several hours and will not return until morning. You are sitting beside Brother on the living room carpet, and he's holding up 3 fingers, pretending to be a genie. He says that you have 3 wishes. You are thinking of who is supposed to shoot prowlers if Dad isn't home. You can hear Mom sobbing and smoking in the kitchen, speaking on the phone to your Grandfather. You ask Brother to first tell you what his wishes would be. He says he only has 2: For Mom to never cry again and for Dad to stay out in the fresh air forever.
6. It could be Christmas Day, but it is also every other day before and after. You are every age between 10 and up until now, on any one of those days. Dad is dead after mixing two palms of tranquilizers with a 24-pack while hunting a coma. Brother has stepped over the anger he lived among as a child and doesn't understand why you broke a bottle over the head of a biker in that bar parking lot after the man struck his girlfriend. The last thing Mom says to you is, "What's Wrong?" before choking to death on the fluid in her lungs. You are drunk, and enter the Warsaw Baptist Cemetery at 3 AM. It takes you awhile to find your Dad's gravestone as you were not at the funeral. You draw the .45 from your waistband and stray toward the grave, firing twelve times. The inscribed doves on the marble explode, but do not bleed.