How do you keep a friendship intact, when Alzheimer's has stolen the common ground of language, memory, and experience, that unites you?
In brief, sharply drawn moments, Sylvia Molloy’s Dislocations records the gradual loss of a beloved friend, M.L., a disappearance in ways expected (forgotten names, forgotten moments) and painfully surprising (the reversion to a formal, proper Spanish from their previous shared vernacular). There are occasions of wonder, too—M.L. can no longer find the words to say she is dizzy, but can translate that message from Spanish to English, when it's passed along by a friend.
This loss holds Molloy’s sense of herself too—the person she is in relation to M.L. fades as her friend’s memory does. But the writer remains: 'I’m not writing to patch up holes and make people (or myself) think that there’s nothing to see here, but rather to bear witness to unintelligibilities and breaches and silences. That is my continuity, that of the scribe.'