The Past Recedes
Something hurt today.
I returned home. Silver Spring.
I don’t recognize my house. The neighbors I grew up with have gone.
I can still see Joan, sweeping her sidewalk, her drive, with a long broom. An excuse to socialize with passing neighbors. She was a beautiful soul wrapped in a Pillsbury body. A jolly laugh. I sometimes wished she was my mother. Mea culpa. She passed far, far too soon.
A neighbor mocked her once because she swept her sidewalk, not understanding her need to be part of the world, and my opinion of him flew southward. How does someone mock a woman who’s good, sensitive, sweet? Seeking relationship with the world?
My house has grown an addition, so I no longer recognize it. Painted in white. The landscape strange, irregular. I wonder if they’ve pulled the pink and white phlox from the garden? Does the house still echo with Patrick’s “Chicago” obsession? What memories does it hold? Does it resonate with the angry thrashings of my parents? My mother’s tears? My father’s closeted sexuality?
Nostalgia breeds a layer of discontent. I see a picture of his ex. Blonde at 70. White, white teeth. She’s still beautiful. Am I? Someone said I had a good soul. Is that enough? There are people who love me, who I’ve abandoned because I’ve become lost.
When you lose yourself, what is left?
Maybe I’m lucky because I have tomorrow. I believe. Tomorrow is a gift we only receive as we awaken to sunlight streaming.
Sleep calls, summoning dreams, of youth, a house once thriving with my memories, now silenced to me. But my life goes on. Another place, seemingly far away. Here.
Sascha Darlington 4/21/2018