story one in a list of stories.
(see post below)
on our way to visit his uncle.
i'm already feeling the nostalgia pull.
missing his dad.
just feeling the passing of time deal happening.
thinking about people here one moment and gone the next.
wondering what all he's feeling.
don't get a whole lot.
okay. i leave it be.
'want to swing by your old neighborhood?
check out your old house?' i ask.
'sure,' he answers as he takes a turn in that direction.
first he'll show me this over here....and then this...
i love the tours.
i picture him as a little guy....then over here as a teen.
i hear stories of his best buddies.
see where they lived.
ohmygosh. you guys did what?!
i shake my head.
different things about him make more sense to me.
ohhhhh that explains a lot, i think.
i wonder how he's still alive, have no idea how,
and am just grateful he's here.
we pull onto his street.
'you'll have to remind me' i say.
'i can't remember which one.'
it's a blue collar neighborhood.
packed with houses.
all of which look very much alike.
one after the other.
'you shouldn't stop right here,' i say
as i see a little girl on her bike. 'you'll scare
her and her dad who's over there just a bit.'
he drives by her slow.
i smile so we don't freak them out.
he slows down more.
there's a pause.
'is it this one?' i ask, looking out my window eagerly.
there's a pause.
'it's gone.' he says.
'it's gone. the house is gone.'
'are you playin'???' i say with an exasperated voice.
i lean over further.
and see an empty lot.
an empty lot??
and not just empty.
it's sprinkled with straw.
like they just planted grass.
on each side stands a house.
the lot's not big.
these were small houses packed in one after another.
'seriously??? are you serious??? is that REALLY where your house
was?? are you SURE???' i ask.
he sits there staring at the empty lot, trying to comprehend.
my eyes are wide.
i have no words.
what do you say when your childhood home just vanishes???
not a trace.
i see the grapevine on the neighbor's fence.
i remember that.
i sit there still.
not sure what to do.
he starts moving again.
'are you okay?' i ask.
'the only house on the whole street that's gone.' he says.
'they had to fill in where the basement was.'
i realize there was a basement. i had forgotten.
he's right. they had to smooth it all out.
i sit there grateful we didn't come when it was laying there all
in heaps. or when they were filling in the basement.
i start to wonder if that's easier....to have missed that part.
maybe not. maybe it's worse.
i have no idea.
and i have no words for him at all.
but i'm so glad i'm sitting next to him.
it matters to me to be there right then.