Yesterday I drove east down West Esplanade in Metairie, watching the egrets stand on their spindly legs: small, yet still so regal. Ducks splashing in the murky-watered canal, some even hanging out right next to the road. Memories came back to me in a flood, the nostalgia washing over me in tumbling waves.
I passed the old, run down Torah Academy with blue siding which is now vacant–my old “marker.” Seeing that place every morning on the way to school made my stomach knot up. Because I knew Hell was just around the corner.
I took our girls there yesterday–to my old elementary/high school, Ecole Classique in Metairie. Parking in the white shell lot felt the same; too many pot holes, too uneven. Those bumps were supposed to discourage us highschoolers from driving too fast or doing donuts. The girls and I crossed through the gate holding hands and went inside. It was dark and eerily quiet. If there were any demons lurking, I didn’t feel them.
I asked the girls to climb up onto the bleachers, the very same ones I sat on during pep rallies in the early 90s. I’d stomp my feet, clap my hands and shout, hoping our class would win the Spirit Stick. And at the same time always wishing I was one of those girls in the fun blue, white and yellow uniforms making the crowd go crazy.
So many memories spring up for me here. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad, or maybe it’s just that I’ll never let go of some things. I don’t really know. And that is okay.
On my way to meet Elaine of The Miss-Elaineous Life, “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John came on the radio and jolted me. Eons ago, someone told me that song reminded him of me, though I’m not sure why. But I love the lyrics and since they’re stuck in my head, they’ll be stuck in yous now, too:
Do you have lots of vivid memories? What happens when you go to places that hold so much meaning for you? Someone recently told me people should just concentrate on moving forward and forget about the past. But can you? Can I?