It’s a beautiful day for a long walk in the old hood. My Middle has a water polo tournament at my old high school so between games I found myself wandering around. I felt like even though the trees are bigger the whole street looks smaller somehow. I’m like a giant now trying to relive the good old days. I lived there for 20 years and don’t come back very often but when I do it takes me right back to the early 80’s when we rode our skateboards down long scary hills and waited for the ice cream man every afternoon on hot summer days.
I just chalked my entire day up to watching water polo, but not really paying attention to the game schedule, didn’t plan on going to church. I later found that I actually had enough time to make it to the second service since I was walking right by there. Unfortunately, I’m not dressed for church, as I don’t usually show up in a tank and shorts, with my crazy curly hair flying every which way but loose, so I asked God for forgiveness and kept on walking passed trying not to make eye contact with any of my fellow church going friends. I’ll be there next week!
I breezed passed the house where the old people that were always naked lived and noticed the new owners put curtains on the large sliding glass doors that we used to try not to look into but pretty much always did, like I just did. It’s about time. As I walked by my old house I had to stop myself from checking the mail out of habit in the old hideous mailbox that was never replaced, and stopped in my tracks when I heard a wood chipper in the backyard. There were two workers cutting down the tree that my dad planted in the 70’s that we used to play under. What is going on? I wanted to run over and tell them to stop. What were they doing? Barbie and Ken got married there. Don’t they know how much of my young life I spent there? That’s where I learned to tie my shoes. If it wasn’t for that tree I might not know how to today. I was supposed to live in a mansion and be a scientist married to Donnie Wahlberg according to the many MASH games we played under that tree. Now how will I prove that? Stop what you are doing immediately! They are chopping down my memories. Will I
forget it all now?
Clearly anyone looking at me would just see a crazy lady swinging her arms around with tears in her eyes but not actually uttering a single word standing outside of a stranger’s house. They would have thought, “Well, there goes the neighborhood.” But this is my house! Who authorized this?
I guess I just can’t except that change happens and I think about everything we’ve done to our house now that probably destroyed some other kid’s childhood memories. I’m sorry for that. It’s sad for me to think that even though I chose to leave the neighborhood it didn’t stop time and life still went on. I didn’t recognize a single person that I saw today in the neighborhood and, well actually, come to think of it, I hope that none of them recognized me either.