Monday, January 7, 2008

Rewind. Revisit. Repeat.

So, something really weird happened to me on Saturday. I spent the day on Long Island (no, that's not the weird part, but we all know that I think Long Island is weird), and after a nice, loungy day at sista's house, drinkin coffee (and an aside--when I went into the 7-11 to buy the family a round of coffees-high test for me and Lis, decaf for Dad and mom-I held my head up and walked right past the rack of NY Posts and Daily Newses with pictures of Britney strapped to a gurney asplash on their seedy black and white covers. And I! Did! Not! Stop! To! Look!!!!).

So, at Lisa's we spent a long time laying on her bed talking about boys. We chatted and looked at Lisa's totally hot profile and marveled at the strange men who have been contacting her and sending her inappropriate messages. We watched the kids put on their outerwear and rubber boots and play married fireman/firewoman for what seemed like hours. It was a nice day.

Then, Lily and I jumped in the car and headed over to my parents' house to say goodbye to them before making the trek back to Queens. Since my folks live something like 2 miles from Lisa's house, in a condo that they moved into about 7 years ago, I'm used to doing this drive. I pretty much could do it in my sleep. So I was pretty freaked when I suddenly found myself turning in the other direction and heading for the house where I grew up.

I don't know what happened, it was like something was pulling me there. Instead of turning one way, I simply went the other. And it wasn't until I was practically on my old block that I realized it. The house where I grew up is only a couple of miles from the condo where my parents reside now. But I haven't even been on my old street in years. So why did I unconsciously start heading there? So weird, I don't know.

I decided to go through with it though, and really check the old place out. I pulled slowly (and somewhat stalkerly) up to the house and sat in front of it, looking up on the hill where it sat. It's a different color now, a rusty red instead of the brown shaker look that was so popular in the 80s. The windows were now dotted with snowflake decals, and the house was shrouded in holiday lights. A new family was living there. Enough time had passed that maybe another little girl has even grown up there (practically), made plans in the same bedroom where I wrote my name in teeny tiny letters in the back of the closet, where I scribbled endlessly in my journals, where I hid under the covers to talk on the phone to my boyfriend after everyone was asleep. A whole other life has taken place there since mine.

It's strange to think of the life I so meticulously planned for myself when I was living inside those walls. Not that I'm disappointed in the way my life has turned out, but I can say it's been somewhat of a surprise. A shocker, even. Well.
I was tempted to get out of the car, sling Lily onto my hip and ring the bell, but I think seeing the inside of my house (my house, listen to me) would be just way too overwhelming and emotional. Especially right now. I just don't want to be that wacky new-age lady in a thrift-store coat who comes rapping on somebody's door, all anxious to revisit her past life in a home that now belongs to someone else, has all of their memories, their life story. I just don't think I'm ready to be that woman just yet.

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