Tuesday, July 25, 2006

memory lane

As Carly Simon would say, "I'm home again, in my own narrow bed..."

I'm in Buffalo, and spent the day in the hospital in which I was born. My mom was there for a very different reason today, but she is now recovering from successful heart surgery. A scary day, but a good one since it went well.

It's odd being in Buffalo. I've forgotten so much, at least superficially. Yet when I missed a turn on the way home from the hospital, I maneuvered my way through some old shortcuts I used to know. Turn off the brain, trust the instincts, and found my way home. When I got home, I walked around the block. The names on the houses are different, but the houses are labelled in my head just as they were when I left home for grad school. I didn't recognize a soul, and I'm sure those who saw me had no idea I lived here for 21 years.

Tomorrow I am going to stop by Canisius on my way to the hospital. I've forgotten this part of me, this part that never touched a computer and had very different dreams. I certainly love my chosen path, and couldn't abandon it, but wonder how to synthesize in the rest of me. Those parts of me are as alive as the ingrained memories of the paths home.

Life is fragile, as seeing my mom connected to a host of monitors reminds me. We can't afford to let any bit of ourselves be neglected - maybe I do need to start that novel!

1 comment:

Dave Delay said...

I feel the same way when I go home. My mother tells me she just saw So-and-So. I nod because I remember the name. But the face is long gone. Not that it matters. The faces I remember are from 30 years ago.

My home town has changed too. I don't feel like I belong until I drive or walk by some old landmark. Then memories come flooding back and its the other people who don't belong. It's a weird sensation. Thanks for writing about it.

I hope your mom feels better soon.