I was tiny, maybe about two or three years old at most, carrying some plates to set on the table that Oma had given me. Her instructions were stern as usual, and I was scared to take them to the dining room. I walked real slow and carefully so as not to drop them.
It was my aunt’s apartment in Berlin, Germany, when it was still called “West Berlin.” It featured a large open living room and dining room. She and her husband’s veterinary practice was just beyond the double doors beside the dining area.
I remember my dress was a blue crushed velvet, with shiny buttons down the front. My white stockings are tucked into shiny black patent leather shoes with a strap across them. Even the details of the kitchen and all the other rooms are vivid in my mind. When my father was stationed in Berlin, I remember spending much time there when I was younger. It wasn’t always a happy place because my grandmother was strict. My mother and her sister also didn’t get along well; the tension was palpable.
Perhaps there are more memories yet to surface. It may explain why I’ve always felt like life didn’t start well.
I searched the night sky for a familiar constellation of stars, hoping I could catch their orbit behind an opening in the clouds. But luck was not with me tonight. Instead, shadows projected their natural art onto the forest, leading to sparks of memories of my sisters and our shared life. The past felt empty, yet my mind continued sprouting up more scenarios. I struggled to breathe with this onslaught of my past. My brow got damp with sweat, and my head was in a swirl of sketch thoughts. It was all so ugly, worse than I remembered other times.
when memories present in the silence of my room i check my expectations at the door my spine gets comfortable as i delve deep into the bank of the past the risk of emotions is high will my cheeks remain dry i hear the clunk of metal gears hobos sleeping in rail cars their lives in a haze while i play in the train yard i wonder in my head where they are now