9.18.2008

a form of retraction to a very old blog post, i don't regret the post, but things have changed as things often do.

Today Davey put an earphone in my ear and pushed play to a song I’d never heard before. It made me remember the Sunday when I was at Mario’s house, his Dad wanted to go see the aunt, and despite the rain, he insisted we go, we even bought her flowers. Really, all any of us wanted to do was nap and listen to the cold rain outside, but the aunt was waiting, and she’d been so good to us when we were young, and she was alone, in the old neighborhood across town, in the dingy kitchen, that had been dingy and poorly wall-papered for 20 years. And besides, poor aunt lived with a husband who didn’t love her, hadn’t loved her since the kitchen had been dingy. He slept with other women, she knew it, everyone did, including their son, who wouldn’t talk to anyone anymore, but stayed in his room making things out of things, and he was twenty seven. So, you see, we had to go see aunt, she would wait for us if we didn’t come, the flowers would wither by morning. We complained to each other on the couches in our church clothes, about how we didn’t want to be in our church clothes. I thought about how Mario had insisted that I iron my dress that morning, even though I never iron things, and how I used his sisters old high heels we found in a box because in my efforts to not be pretentious, I had failed to pack anything with much class. The rain came louder and harder and colder. Rain in Central America is different, perhaps because it’s falling on a country full of tin roofs or people without roofs at all, perhaps because there are green thick fields and the sun goes down early. Perhaps because I am remembering it that way. The taxi finally came and honked outside the garage. The cat huddled in the corner on the tiles of the living room. We walked out, turning our umbrellas sideways to get through the door, we turned the key and rain was already pouring onto our arms, making us not only brown and sun baked, but slick and wet. We just wanted to take a nap. We all knew we shouldn’t have called the taxi, even though he was honking outside and aunt was waiting across town. We opened the front door and were part relieved to find that the streets were flooding fast down into drains and up onto driveways. We couldn’t open the door to the taxi. All we could do was yell to him through the rain that thank you very much but we’ll stay inside today, no one should be out. He should go back home. I closed my umbrella in the partly open patio and looked down because I couldn’t look up. I started laughing, which somewhat embarrassed me because nothing was particularly funny. Except that I was in another country, staying with another family in a rain storm so torrential that we couldn’t even drive away. The flowers were getting wet, so we went inside. And sat on the couches again. I took the high heels off. The cat got up and stalked up the stairs with tail up. I just wanted to take a nap, so did everyone else. I went upstairs to lie on the bed and listen to Bach. I imagined Glen Gould playing Bach on his worn stool and in his tattered gloves. Partway through a partita I heard someone yell. Downstairs the house was flooding, the small back patio where the clothes dried was filling up with water. Mario’s mom was frantic, like a little turtle filling buckets and passing them down the line of us and out the front door. It makes me sad now, to remember that, all of it. How it was in someway an emergency, and how for some reason I could not stop laughing, and soon we all were. After we had emptied the back patio Mario and I went on a walk. I didn’t wear shoes and the streets were cold and cracked and full of unsmooth pebbles. We walked around the block, then another block. we went to the park in the rain. I knew at the time it meant something. Though I had no way of knowing it would come back in this way, now, like a movie I am watching. Davey played me a song today, I don’t know why it made me remember things that I can’t understand even now. I had to stop and take a deep breath, even put my hands over my eyes, right there in the library, like I was watching my life on the palms of my hands, and it didn’t make sense, maybe some things never will.

4 comments:

Patricia said...

ash, i wish that i could edit old moments of my life the way i can revisit moments on here. thank you for helping me remember the beauty of remembering.

Lindsey P said...

it is strange how happy memories can make us so sad. Maybe because we can't go back to those moments,and if we tried they wouldn't be the same.

Club Narwhal said...

i can't even express to you how much i needed this post. thank you, dear ashmae. you are wonderful.

Lizzy Lambson said...

So beautiful.