Monday, June 14, 2010

this is what it feels like

This is what it feels like.
It’s like being in the house where I grew up and listening to the cars come up the hill.

We lived at the end of a steep dead end street. There was no real turnaround, so when cars came up the street, it was a hugely noticeable event. They had to figure out how to turn around or had to back out to get back down.

For much of my school age life, I came home alone to an empty house. My mom was working full time and finishing college – and then a Master’s degree, so I was home alone a lot. And the two of us were the only two in the house. I was an only child and she was a single mom.

“Latch-key” kid is the term they used for me in the 80s. I got home from school and raided the refrigerator while dialing the number to my grandparents. Muscle memory led me through the same set of motions every weekday afternoon.

Sometimes I ventured outside to walk up the hill or watch nature. But usually I turned on the TV and waited. Each time a car came up the road, I listened. Is that her?

Even when I knew better, I listened - Just in case she came home early. Sometimes it sounded like her car and I got excited. It’s hard to tell and I got faked out a lot. I thought my way into believing it was her quite often, but until it was actually her car coming up the road, it didn’t feel quite right.

When I did finally hear her car and knew it was her, it was so obvious and I knew it was finally the right car. I felt silly for ever believing that any of the other cars could have ever been her. But then I would do the same thing over again the very next day. Each day a new experience in really knowing for sure.

It feels like that.


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