“Photographic Memory” by Nadia Jacobson

The old man’s eyes lit up as the young man entered the living room.

“Lovely to see you again,” the old man said. “Weren’t you here just the other day?”

“Yes,” the young man said, his chest tightening.

The old man’s head of white hair was combed and flattened, not a wisp out of place. The sofa did not cushion him; he sat bolt upright, a throwback to his army days. Within arm’s reach lay an old Polaroid camera, and on his lap a photo album. He would photograph his guests and label the pictures: name, occupation, and record of acquaintance.

The old man gestured. “Sit down, make yourself comfortable. It’ll come to me in a minute.”

The young man opened his mouth.

“Don’t tell me,” the old man said, “it’s on the tip of my tongue.”

The young man pursed his lips.

The old man scoured the album. Finally, his index finger came to rest on a photo, and he bent closer to read his notes. A pained expression crossed his face. He rose and spread out his arms.

“Good to see you, son.”

“Good to see you, Dad,” the young man whispered.


“Photographic Memory” first appeared in print, in The Best of Every Day Fiction, Two © 2010

FEATURED IMAGE: Vladimir Skalkin “Family Portrait”, 2020, oil on canvas, 80×100 cm
Moscow, Russia

Nadia Jacobson

Nadia Jacobson hails from London and lives in Jerusalem. She is an editor of short fiction at The Ilanot Review. Her fiction has appeared in The Waking: Ruminate Online, Meniscus, Annalemma, The Binnacle, and a number of anthologies. She flips between writing flash fiction and revising two interweaving novels.

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Allan Hudson

I love it!

Alana Ruben

Beautiful writing!

Sarah Josephson


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