Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Alex

I thought about him on the subway. The things he liked--that bright yellow book he left on our kitchen table, Watchmen, that I read and half-understood. Running, his face contorted with effort and hair blown back by the wind. The Beach Boys. Adrianna and I both expressed horror at that one, but eventually the notes of "Good Vibrations" came seeping out from under her bedroom door.

Before we left Redmond for good he invited us to hang out, joining a bunch of other teenagers made shiftless by those summer nights to sit on camp chairs around a fire in the woods. How she perched on his lap and looked so happy in the flickering light, and after, when we were stowing liquor bottles back in the trunk of his car, I made a motion as if to swig from one. My sister shook her head disdainfully. He tossed me an egging-on grin. Said something like, Let her have a drink. 

At the end of high school I was just his girlfriend's kid sister. Now I am older than he was then.

As grown-ups we revisit places from childhood that seemed enormous and feel discomfited by their real scale. What happens when the place is gone? Then it's just stuck, towering in your head, not quite right. In my head he is old and I am small, but really I'm swaying on the subway coming home from work, sort of an adult, bills to pay and my name on a lease, almost 2 years older than he was when he died, this unfixable discrepancy that will never quite stop twisting my heart around, in the remembering.
Share:

1 comment:

  1. Krithi6:29 AM

    Such a beautiful piece. Love your writings

    ReplyDelete