Do You Remember?

by - 6:38 PM

It happens at the most unexpected moments: when I'm in the cookie aisle in the supermarket, when I'm walking in the park or when I open an old book. A smell, a sound, a sudden movement in the corner of my eye. The memories immediately come rushing back, as if a dam in my mind has just broken. Novato. The memories take me back to Novato, California, where I spent most of my childhood summers.
Usually I rush home when this happens - people always give me weird looks when I'm grinning for no apparent reason. Back home I make myself a cup of tea and talk to my mom. I tell her about that smell, that sound, that movement. 'It reminded me of Novato.' Those are the magic words. In that moment, my mom and I go back in time to those summers in Novato. We start to play a game of 'Do You Remember?', talk and laugh until we cry.

Do you remember the dog mattress?
Do you remember the deer in the vineyard?
Do you remember the rout to Indian Tree?
I smile when I think of those cool mornings, when I woke up to see deer standing in the backyard. I shake my head warily when I think of the sweltering heat of the early afternoons. My feet get itchy when I think of the countless splinters I got from walking on the wooden deck.
Yes, I do remember all those things.

Do you remember playing The Game of Life and losing the pieces?
Do you remember Cloudy and Maui?
Do you remember talking under water in the pool?
I laugh until I cry when I think of all the pranks my friends and I pulled on each other. I bounce in my chair with excitement when I think about Amen Boo and the tree houses in Marshmallow City. I snicker when I think of chicken in Mongolian Beef. Yes, I do remember all those things.

Do you remember going to Fresh Choice?
Do you remember Bird Poop Rock?
Do you remember The Mail Game?
I turn red with embarrassment when I think of hiding my friend's stuffed animal in the vase behind the door. I sing again when I think of our variation on 'the wheels on the bus': the people on the bus go tattoo, tattoo, tattoo! I blink away the tears when I think of our hand made National Park Passes.
Yes, I do remember all those things. But I don't just remember them, I cherish them. I'll keep telling the stories, I'll keep looking at the pictures and I'll keep laughing at our silliness until the day I'm in Novato again. The past was a beautiful place for us, for me, the boy I called Maui and the girl I called Fruit Loops. We had some great times together, but those years are far behind us. And when I look into my mom's eyes when we're remeniscing over a cup of tea, I know that these old memories won't fade, no, but they do need some company. I guess it's time for the three of us to meet up one last time in Novato. That time might come sooner than you'd expect. But until that time comes, my dear Maui and Cloudy, I just want to ask you: do you remember me?

Stay Awesome.

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7 Fellow Ramblers

  1. This was beautiful, Envy. x
    It summarized my thoughts exactly.
    ~ Sanjana

    1. Thank you :)
      I hope our friends remember us :)

  2. Nostalgia makes me feel like crying.

    The Life of Little Me

    1. Damnit. You've spoken my thoughts in a more beautiful way again.

    2. It makes me cry too, but mostly tears of happiness

  3. I love looking through old books and drawings and memories. But i end up crying every time. Change is hard.

    1. I used to cry my eyes out when I looked through old books. I couldn't accept change, until I started to think that changes in the future can bring the things we're missing now back into our lives :)


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