The other day I went back to a place I once lived.
A community 2 hours south of here, where I once felt safe.
The streets, the houses, the school, all the time.
Only this time I was an observer.
I observed the person I could have been had I stayed.
My mom explained to me why we had to move.
Why the three years I spent there were just a fever dream.
The problem with remembering is that I remember too much of the wrong stuff.
I remember feeling safe, comfortable, and happy there.
I remember playing in the backyard with my brother and making silly home videos together.
I remember being best friends with my neighbors.
I remember playing in the ravine at the end of the street, and the monkey brains that were always lying around there.
I thought they were weird.
I remember the hamster I owned for 2 months, before my cat killed him.
His name was chip. (Short for chocolate chip.)
I remember the tree at the end of the street that I was too little to climb.
I was determined to climb it though, because it was where my brother and my neighbors were always hanging out.
The tree looked a lot smaller than I remembered it being.
I remember the treehouse my dad built and the fact that he wasn’t home often.
And when he was, he had no work to do.
I remember my mom being mad all the time.
The problem with remembering is that I remember too much of the good and not enough of the bad, and sometimes too much of the bad and not enough of the good.
The problem with remembering is the sickly sweet feeling of nostalgia crawling out of the deepest corners of the mind.
Where there was once happiness and life that has been replaced by a ghost.
Abandoned just as we left the house, a life left behind in hopes of starting new.
I remember the feeling of home but I do not remember the feeling of reality.
I suppose it was all just a memory.