And so I am home and camp was a million different kinds of brilliant, and star-gazing in a waterless lake and falling hard and fast and mad in love with writing, all over again. But I am home again, and I’ve to work.
In fact, today was the first day of my summer internship, and on the way to the tram stop I pause at a reflective store window to admire the color of my polo shirt. It’s sea foam green, and it has the power to do away instantly with this particular time and space and take me off to some remote era of childhood, some land of memory contained in an unobtrusive part of my body (my feet, for example, or left kidney).
I remember spotting this shirt in a store in New York. I didn’t even try it on, just took it straight to the cashier. Sea foam green, one of eight tropical Crayola markers, a color I’m sure I’ve seen all members of my immediate family wear.
Few other special details like sea foam green exist in this world, or at least the world I am used to living. There’s a particular bird here in Valencia, for example, a species I’ve never been able to pinpoint, whose call inhabits one of my earliest memories. I can clearly recall hearing it throughout my childhood, though the many instances I must have heard it have melted into one singular episode in my head: I, as a four-year-old, and a bridge that would be later torn down, and turning around, and spectacular sunlight, and that bird’s cry.
It’s difficult for me to retain memories in neat, concrete blocks. I need a specific stimulus to burst through the stratified walls of the untidy cave that is my mind. Watermelon with salt, or the stench of chlorine, or my brother’s haircut, they swing and bring back distant, although never alienated, thoughts.
Take sea foam green, reflected in glass, resurrecting mother, father and brother, though in younger incarnations. Sea foam green, and softly lit streets and boxes of cereal and drawings pinned to the refrigerator like exotic butterflies.
Sea foam green, and the incorporeal ghost of my mother in the glass winking at me, glowing in two planes of being, memory and reality, smiling, not moving, watching me go.