Density of Memory

This past weekend I went down to San Diego to catch up with family. San Diego is chock-full of people I care about, and it’s unfortunately impossible to catch up with everyone. This was tightly focused on family.

It’s always dislocating to return to a place where you have not been in a while. My memories get activated and I’m taken back to when I was 5 years old and trying to catch the little four-winged moths that hung out on this lawn. I remember my uncle parking his truck on that lawn after returning from the beach and washing it when I was in my early teens. I remember riding a Wham-O Slip-and-Slide on the yard. I remember being so small that I could not throw a basketball high enough to hit that rim. I remember playing horse with friends on the block when I was 13. I remember the time my aunt’s dog had eaten some sort of poisonous thing and we all collectively got her to swallow a big ball of wet salt to induce vomiting. I think of more negative memories as well: being forced to do pushups on the lawn and being chastised for my unfitness. I remember arguments between family members that scared me when I was a kid. But I also remember being welcomed back many times by so many people as we returned from the Philippines, from New Orleans, from Los Angeles, from Virginia. So many homecomings. The torrent of memory is overwhelming, but somehow it all managed to coalesce into a positive experience. I had a terrific time, and only got mildly sunburned when we went to the beach.

grandparents house san diego

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