I took a different route tonight. No particular reason, just winging it as usual. I never take this route, but still it looks strangely familiar. At the crossing I look up to read the sign. MEMORY LANE. I remember now. In the black of night I see strange sparkles down the sides of the road. I roll down my window to take a closer look. An old shed, stacked to the roof, filled with the smell of memories pre-dating a war everyone is so eager to forget yet still honoring its remembrance. I see the big dogs and this little red headed girl playing with them. Rolling around carelessly. Another sparkle shows me the outdoor toilet where you’d freeze your butt off in the winters but it was worth the rosehip lemonade you knew was waiting for you inside. I see the old furniture and my favorite aunt shelling fava beans.
I notice that I am slowing down, I never slow down.
Heck I was upset with myself earlier this evening for being lasered when I knew the camera was right there. I look at another sparkle. Is that…? Yes, that is me wandering aimlessly on this tiny ledge before the church. Inside that church are so many more. Isn’t that granddad with candy? Is that me on the church’s stage? My grandparents. Oh how I loved picking fruit with them in their garden. But I’m digressing. I look up and see so many more sparkles. So many more down memory lane.
Remember that time in that old haunted house? It yells at me. Remember you going up the stairs in that old mansion to find an old lady in the shadows of the attic that handed you a necklace?
The shadow is setting in while I hear this dull voice trying to yell at me: REMEMBER!
My childhood was nothing short of a book ROALD DAHL would write about. But still, the voice was going faint. And as I was driving I could see the shadow coming in. Wailing around, knocking everything down. It hit her, that sweet little girl, she never saw it coming. All of the sudden the lights go dim. No! No! Not now! I hit the brakes, I jump out of my car and I turn around. I look at the shadow that is trying to overtake all of this. I stand there, I just stand there. I am trying to yell, but nothing comes out.
What the F@&$? Am I just standing here while this shadow is overtaking all of my beloved memories? I.Will.Not.Let.That.Happen.Ever!
The shadow has gotten over my head by now. It is trying to get rid of all the sparkles. It is trying to fade them out of memory lane.
I was still holding on to the door of my car, but I am letting go now. I am letting go while I turn to the shadow and yell from the top of my lungs:
No! This is MY STORY! When did you ever think it was OK to take over? To take over MY story? To take over my pen? To write your own? The shadow just laughs and shows me his grounds.
I look up and see an apartment building standing on my memory. The shadow grins at me and says “you’ll never win”
And I grin back, sparkling all over. “Oh no, I already did”.