Monday, March 23, 2015
Stories While Driving
Nothing was familiar to me. Buildings sprang up where before cows grazed. Bagel shops, flea markets and a tattoo parlor all new. But as I drove along Route One, I tried to recall the past to make sense of the present. The traffic was heavier than it was decades ago. The white brick building I passed once housed a bakery. The same bakery that refused my Auntie a "baker's dozen" is now a tiny Thai Restaurant. The old grey building that once was an orphanage looms and I wonder what ever happen to my best friend in Kindergarten. Vicky and her brother disappeared one day. My mother gently explained that her parents divorced and both kids were sent to the orphanage. I had always wanted to knock on the door and see my friend, but I was also worried that if Vicky left so easily and suddenly that it could surely happen to me. I zoomed passed the green light and toward the marsh. This morning the road was dry. When I wasyoung this stretch of road flooded regularly. On Sunday mornings, the police would wave my mother through the water. It would splash up under the car making a terrible vibrating noise, while I hid my face as my big sister hugged and soothed me. Weekly trips from Biddeford to Portland to visit my aunt cultivated family stories. Driving along ordinary landmarks this morning, prompted the recollection of some pretty extraordinary stories that began as tiny seeds in a little girl.