Remember? (How could you ever forget.)
Think about your childhood, and all those times all the grown-ups would visit on a Sunday afternoon and the talk was all about “the olden days” (bborrrriiinggg!) so you would stop listening because that was way back in time and who even wants to hear about it? So, you took your Barbie or your GI Joe and you found a cousin and went outside to play.
Now, today, there’s talk about the “olden days,” but to us, it was real life and it happened. We lived through it and past it and made it to this moment. (There’s a meme that is around now, that reminds us that “1981 is as far from us now, as 1939 was from 1981”, and dang it, I REMEMBER 1981!!!)
NYC is the most amazing of places because it refuses to STOP; it WILL keep on keeping on; it will continue to grow and change and be something it never was…. (when “I” was a child, one didn’t VENTURE into Times Square alone, at night, unaware!!!)
We rarely acknowledge the “last time”—yes, at graduation or a funeral, but on the whole? We remember our first kiss (maybe) and we obsessively record the homecoming of each Child, and pet and vehicle, and The First Day of School—years per-k through the day they are deposited at a college dormitory.
Rarely, oh so rarely are we given the foreknowledge that this is the last time that you’re going to see that person, or be in that place or do that thing. Can you honestly recall the last time you tucked your child in at night? Or the last time they let you read to them with you lying cuddled against their warm little body? You don’t really remember because on a random Tuesday night, they say, “no mommy,” and you breathe a silent sigh of relief, because really you needed to finish washing the dishes. But then on Wednesday and on Thursday and on Friday you are given a similar reprieve and suddenly it becomes the new normal and nobody told you to absorb that feeling, to memorize it.
I looked past the Twin Towers every day of my high school career; daydreaming out the window. I rarely acknowledged them when I turned down Victory, although I did once stop when I had film in my camera. They were just THERE.
So, I paid attention to the smells and the textures and the visual of the boat. Because, well, the bright new shiny ones may be smoother and cleaner faster and lighter, it won’t be like it used to be at all.
Nothing ever is.
“It’s wonderful to be here
It’s certainly a thrill
You’re such a lovely audience
We’d like to take you home with us
We’d love to take you home” Sgt. Pepper
And NYC, TODAY, is certainly a thrill, A different one to be sure.
But so are we all, so are we all. And home? You can’t really go back home. Home is a memory, home is your history.