Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Memory Lane

What a stupid address. Because everything and nothing always changes, and we know that "always" and "never" is usually a lie.

I walked to dinner tonight. The Fitbit demands these kinds of sacrifices, and it's no sacrifice when it's a temperate autumn evening and your destination is over the ridge, at a campus restaurant.

So when I wonder how I got so stuck, if you could gently remind me that I live not only in the town where I went to college, but the town where I was born? That would be appreciated.

In walk just short of 10,000 steps, I can walk by:
  • every ex-boyfriend's college housing
  • the woods where I suspect my stolen purse was tossed, but have never been able to find therein
  • a most magnificent view of Kalamazoo College's chapel, and if you turn 120 degrees to the right, the East Hall cupola at Western Michigan University
  • the track where a college student was killed by a mentally ill stranger in 1987, which changed this town the obvious and paranoid ways that these things do
  • a ginkgo sapling growing in an eaves-trough
  • Dairy Queen, and all the calories therein
  • the tracks where I flipped the bike I'd borrowed from my brother, and broke its frame
  • the apartment where I lived at first with my now-husband
  • the apartments of many more friends, past to present
  • rotten apples placed along the top of a stone wall
  • smells of wood burning, leaf mold, sour water and trash
  • and finally, the overgrown garden of home.
For all these connections, I don't have more plans for tonight than the dinner I already ate. It's the time when I would be getting ready for bed on a weeknight. I guess I am worrying, what if I was alone? Would I ever leave the house? Or would I just connect with these memories, again and again? Does this worry mean that it's already too late?

But it's not too late. I can go for a walk anywhere, but here I know these things, and can learn  even more. (In fact, I'm already plotting a trip to go back and see if that's really a gingko, and how to take a picture of it.) There's no need to hyperventilate. Just breathe. And besides, my Fitbit fell off my wrist somewhere, so none of these future steps "count" anyway.