Driving through my old neighborhood, I see that both apartments we used to live in are boarded up. It's as if they're waiting for something. Solid brick buildings, with their 1880's interiors; standing silent and strong... waiting. I want to pull over and park, walk around the overgrown back yards, touch the spot where I buried my parakeet and climb the silver leaf maple just one more time.
The sense of danger is all around me. My mind screams, "Get out! Get out now!"
Memories chase after me as I drive on, breathing a sigh of relief when I reach Grand Avenue. Safe now. No neighborhood memories here.
The boarded up houses still stand. When I drove past them, I heard children's laughter; and for just a moment, I was a kid again. I felt again the love that had filled our home. I remembered all the good things.
I wonder if there's still modeling clay jammed in the cracks of the wooden floor? Does the plaster still bleed out the scents of countless meals and cigarette smoke? I wonder about the claw foot tub. If I went inside and looked, would it still be as big as a swimming pool? Would there be any remnant of the child I was?
I could buy one of those places. I could put it on my credit card. The city sells them cheap. I could own the only safe haven of my youth. But what would I do with it?