Tuesday, September 6, 2011

another new excerpt for new book

Memory Serves

One year, Stu and I went to Pasadena to see the Rose Parade. We stayed with my sister in Hollywood, and went early in the morning so that we could find parking and locate our seats on the bleachers. Our plan was to go for an early morning walk after that – which we did.
During the walk, I said to Stu, “I know where I am, even though I was last here at age 10.”
Stu said, “Huh, and hum.”
“Walk with me, and I will show you.” I was excited and dreamy.
Without a blip, I took him to Saint Philip's which was a few blocks away. I predicted, and then showed him, where my second grade classroom had been located, where the church was located, where out hideout on the bottom of the basement stairs was located.
Then a believer, he walked with me to my kindergarten/first grade school: Hamilton School. Again, I predicted, and showed him the terrace on the kindergarten room. I told him about how I had escaped kindergarten by climbing over the balustrade and running home. The predicted big tree at the entrance to the school was no longer there, but the stump of some giant was hidden in the grass.
After that, we walked to Seneca Street. There were residences I remembered; Pasadena-style bungalows with shrubbery and exotic trees. I described two busy streets that had to be crossed in order to walk from Saint Philip's to Seneca Street: Allen and San Marino; I even remembered the names of those streets.
Seneca Street was still a dead-end, and some of the houses were as I remembered – except for a condo where the orchard and windmill had been. 2426 was smaller than I remembered it, of course. The privet hedge had been replaced with roses. The apricot trees were gone. There was an addition where the big porch had been. But . . . wonder of wonders, I could see the top of the avocado tree in the back yard, leaves as big and shiny as ever.
“Did you get in trouble for escaping Kindergarten?” asked Stu, sliding sideways into my dream.
I remembered the scent as I skipped home; it was peppery, because on the sidewalk, minute fruits, fallen from dark foliage overhead, had been squashed underfoot.

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