It’s incredible how reading an essay on someone else’s memories or nostalgia can trigger your own. Each of this week’s essays did that for me – each one triggered a different memory.
Brainard’s I Remember, brought me back to my childhood. In particular, the summers I enjoyed when I was in middle school. I remember riding bikes with my best friend, with no destination in mind. I remember running to catch the ice cream man. I remember splashing in the pool for hours. I remember neon pink bikinis. I remember Jackie’s mom yelling at us for teasing her younger siblings. I remember eating pizza bagels. I remember countless games of “manhunt,” late at night with the neighbors. I remember “August Depression” – a monthly countdown to the start-up of school again.
Codrescu’s Nostalgia for Everything, made me think of Fall and the scents that I associate with it that remind me of my childhood and family life (although I know this isn’t a complete literal interpretation of the text). That crisp smell in the air when fall begins is what my mom used to call “The School Smell.” I used to look for it all summer, but it wasn’t until it was time to go back to school that I would smell it. The smell of roast chicken, apple-cinnamon and wood fire reminds me of Sunday nights in my family home.
Wolff’s Last Shot, made me remember the tragic death of my best friend, Nick. It made me analyze and look deep into how I remember him. I can relate to Wolff, in that I often do think of what life would be like if he was still alive – the “what ifs.” Wolff made me realize the faults in this and made me remember some of the happiest times I had with him. (This is the theme for my essay this week)
Kitteredge’s Interlude, reminded me of my Uncle Rich. He’s the family eccentric, “Crazy Uncle Rich.” Uncle Rich is over-anxious, paranoid and quite the intense character, but, he is one of the most caring and selfless people I have ever met. He genuinely would give you the shirt of his back. I have seven sets of Aunts and Uncles, but he is the only one who has ever cared about my brother or I.
Finally, Danticat’s Westbury Court, made me think of where I live and the several different neighbors I’ve had. There’s the guy to my left who throws obnoxious, loud parties, late at night and makes everyone dislike him. But, he’s the same guy who takes his bobcat and plows everyone out during snow storms, thus, making everyone forget they dislike him. There’s the couple on my right who has a son with down-syndrome. He goes outside everyday at the same time and sings the grease soundtrack as loud as he can. I love it. There’s the guy diagonally from me who empties everyone’s recycle cans and takes the bottles on his bike to the local grocery store to cash them in. Then, there’s grandpa that buys every kid on the block ice cream when the ice cream man comes down the road. The ice cream man knows this and pulls into his driveway each and every time he comes down the road.
Although some of these aren’t a literal interpretation of the text – bits and pieces of them sparked different memories in my mind. I enjoyed reading them and taking a trip down memory lane.