My Address.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I travelled from far and away to seek my forgotten and aged address that sheltered me during my young, dreary yet fulfilling years of my life.

It felt like eons of years had passed since I withdrew myself from my strenuous, exhausting schedule in the depths of busy, chaotic city, Chicano- the city of workaholics. With continuous breakdowns, mental attacks and not-to–mention my recurring distant dreams of the indelible place that I once lived…it was clearly a sign that I needed a break after 35 years of immense hard-work and struggle. To rekindle memories that I was afraid were soon to be lost.

Detour after detour, sign after sign, I finally stumbled on my familiar Bella Lane. And beautiful it was, lined with orange blossoms; freesia and pine enriched with an earthy smell of rot and moss, the resin in the evergreens, the warm, almost nutty aroma of the small rodents cowering beneath the tree roots filled the summer breezy air.

My house, my home was closer now; I could feel the forever tensed knot feeling of the lost- never- being-found drowning away in the pits of my stomach giving rise to yet another series of emotion. Ah! Sweet reminisce. I could see it now, as I crossed over Greyhin Bridge that connected my old world with my new one. Sheer emancipated happiness amalgamated with anxiety electrified through spine, producing cold shivers down my spine as I simply wondered if my weathered unique trove still held those varied memories that I held close to my heart. I hopelessly questioned whether my home would look and be the same as I left it.

Drawing closer to 'The Burrow' as our family once called it, I could smell, it's sweet unforgettable smell that made you taste an almost-honey-lilac and sun flavoured scent. I could see it now; no one could miss it, its grandness more marked with the perfect July afternoon sun streaming through its majestic windows highlighting the once white marbled porch.

The Burrow welcomed me as it once did before; it felt like I had never left. My home never changed. I did. Vine-entangled the once bold, smooth marble name plate which engraved the letters of my found address, Holmes it said, in black letters on peeling white enamel. And on the jamb, a bit higher, the number. Number 48.

The City indeed changed me, demarcating me from who I was to who I have become. I felt strange but in good way. Memories flashing as I look at each corner, everything the same place where we left it. I wish nothing changed, I wished I never left. It all happened when I left for the city to fulfil my now-so-silly unquenchable thirst for adventure; for knowledge; for my dreams were as tall as skyscrapers; as tall as the evergreen trees at Bella Lane. And then the War followed…

Tears unconsciously rolled down my cheeks as a collective series of memoirs left me, joining hands with the house. Together again, made me carefree; closing my long lashes, memories danced all around me, voices sang to me, urging me to remember of why I left it all behind. I had remembered it. But I had waited a long time to go there. Initially after the Liberation I was absolutely not interested in all that stored stuff, and naturally I was also rather afraid of it. Afraid of being confronted with things that had belonged to a connection that no longer existed; which were hidden away in cupboards and boxes and waiting in vain until they were put back in their place again; which had endured all those years because they were 'things.' So afraid that I hid my remorse under piles of work in strange and far off city that I now call "home".

Strange. It was so eerily quiet, a sound so rare, so pure…that I could taste it on my tongue, relishing it as I could for I knew, soon this too would be nothing but a distant memory. All I heard was the unnatural sound of my voice and I went on to only say, "I'm sorry", my trembling lips let out "I left. I shouldn't have, but how could I have known!"

More tears but this time of joy, for I was happy I had done it; I had returned to Bella Lane….laughter surrounded me, music filled my ears…it was all me, I felt reborn, I felt alive. Thank you! I screamed to The Burrow, to Bella Lane for they had changed in their own way as I did in mine. I was no longer the same Irina Holmes who walked through that door.

Remarkable how only time can amend everything, how it continues without a stop, without a care…giving you only to hear its inevitable tick-tock.

At the corner of the road I looked up at the name plate. Bella Lane, it said. I had been at Number 48. The address that no longer remained aged and forgotten. But priceless and remembered. Now I didn't want to remember it anymore neither did I want to forget. Though, I wouldn't go back there because the objects that are linked in your memory with the familiar life of former times instantly lose their value when, severed from them, you see them again in these unchanged surroundings. And what more could I have done with them, besides treasure them close to my heart.

I finally resolved to remember the address, my address. For of all things I had to remember, that would be the easiest for it truly was an indelible place I ever lived in.

But in a goodbye bed
With my arms around your neck
Into our love the tears crept
Just catch in the eye of the storm
And as my heart ran round
My dreams pulled me from the ground
Forever to search for the flame
For home again
For home again
(Daniel - bat for lashes)

Genre: Fiction
Photograph source: By Alunaticloner, a surreal artist from Indonesia


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