Return To Staten Island
I grew up in this house. Yet, nine years have made me a stranger, giant and trespassing.
I feel like Alice – bumbling largely about in a house where once I was the tiny tot, the child-thing deftly weaving through this nook and that. What has not been replaced, removed, or repainted, I look at through eyes that no longer meet the gaze of the kitchen counter, but presently loom two feet above it.
Perspective has literally changed. And any remnants of familiarity are few and faint.
The thin walls now tell the stories of the Others – the nicotine-addict who liked to smoke in the garage, the hippie hipsters who liked the vibe of our closets, the dog with the dreadfully musty breath who apparently liked to lick all the things. Their stories are so pervasive that I can feel their recent, rented presence. (Or wait, can I just smell it?)
I open doors and drawers and secret passageways, straining to find whispers of my childhood. My stories, our stories must have moved deeper. Perhaps they have found refuge in the granite foundation. Perhaps they have been wisped into secrets of a history past that now dwell in the very cornerstone of this structure, only to be liberated when this house once again becomes a home.
A bit of summer, a dash of magic, and a whole lot of family time ought to do just that.