Monday, March 19, 2007


I have lived in one home, one street, one city for many years.

Too many?

Driving though familiar streets, I thought yesterday: the horror of living too long in one place is I cannot pass another street, a house, another section on my city, without remembering. Forty years of ghosts follow me everywhere: In the house on that corner I remember Chuck Hansen and his wood carvings. ...At that intersection I remember buying foot long hot dogs...Under that tree I watched my old now-dead dog Taffy squat among moistened the flowers...

Memories...they flood in. They overwhelm me, I struggle to breathe between the onslaught of the waves. Memories define my age too severely; they create too many vivid benchmarks to make too specific my brief journey of time. They render foolish my delusions of still being young.
I remember when Malcolm was alive, when we argued politics at Izzy's, when Mishi was six in that very park chasing squirrels, when Eric and I walked holing hands down that path...Too many ghosts, all made too vivid by familiarity.

I must move. A new place will render me new experiences. My life will be fresh again, a smooth face to write my newest world upon. I will be young again. If I move, all those cloying ghosts will be banished. I will move to a place I have never been before, I will erase specific sensory facts to build a remembrance from. Yes; I will move; I want to be young again. I will shatter the mirrors of an aging face that the ghostly old specifics engender. ghosts...they give me comfort. They are and were my friends. We grew old together. They are my continuity; they remind me daily that I was and am alive. I don't want to forget them. Forget Malcolm? Forget the park Mishi played in, the street that Eric accompanied my down? Chuck Hansen and his wood? Foot-ling hot dogs? If I forget them, do I forget myself? Who am I but the accumulation of my ghosts. If I forget them, can I be sure I was real? Without a mirror, who are we? Life is ghosts.

I will not move.


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