Thursday, June 21, 2012

Scattered Pictures


W80th St #3
Two of my friends' parents' have recently sold their childhood homes.  My parents' still live down the street from them, so I haven't lost my connection to the neighborhood of our youth.

But knowing that my friends will have lost their connection, knowing that they won't be a short walk away over the Christmas holidays - somehow this makes me sad and incredibly nostalgic.  Everything is changing!  I want to whine.

My friend Malls sends me the link to the realtor's website for her parents' house.  "How are you doing with all this?" I ask, and she replies, "It's surreal."  I agree.  Clicking through the pics of her house on the website, I'm confronted with specter after specter of childhood memories.

There, in the family room, I remember all of us standing in front of the television one summer, watching MTV play the video of Lisa Loeb's "Stay" for the millionth time, and we knew every word.  There, in the basement, we threw Mall's a surprise 16th birthday party.

There, in the backyard, we created obstacle courses for her dog, Alex (who I called "Gerald," though I can't remember why).  There, on the pink carpet of Mall's bedroom, was where I found Mall's beta fish one time when I was pet-sitting.  There, in the upstairs bathroom, is where I performed a burial at sea for said fish.

There, that spare bedroom, was where I stayed for two weeks during my junior year of high school when - in a fit of angst over an unjust curfew - I packed up all my belongings and moved out of my parents' house.  And...moved up the street.  To an identical model of house.  To be watched over by Malls' parents, who were friends with my parents.  And who enforced pretty much the same curfew.  (Smooth move, Teenage Kristy.)

There, in the kitchen, we made a cake for our swim coach - a recipe of our own devising, including flour, sugar, and...everything else we could find in the refrigerator.  There, in the driveway, we set small (contained) fires.  There, in the front hall, we peered out the windows while calling the cops on a party next door (we were deviants, of the mostly-bratty persuasion).

W80th St #1 A litany of memories at Mall's house, and an equally long list for Terr's house, down the street.  These places now belong to strangers; what will become of my memories?  Will they continue to fade, now that I'm unable to visit the hallowed ground where they were made?

"Ugh, I hate change," I tell Malls, but she argues, "You?  You move all the time.  You love change."

True enough.  Part of me loves change.  Another part, however, really struggles with it, really struggles with a fear of the unknown, is really scared to lose ties to the past.

But what can we do?  Change - whether we love it or not - is inevitable.  As Barbra Streisand said at the end of the 1972 classic screwball comedy, What's Up, Doc?:

"Listen kiddo, you can't fight a tidal wave."

So we lean in and go with it.  Trusting that what matters - what really matters - hopefully sticks with us and can't be sold, and that what is lost was never really ours to hold on to anyways.

1 comment:

Robin aka Gotham Girl said...

Great post! So so true.