Day 346: Carlito’s Way

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They continue to say that we can’t go home again.

This morning, I did.

It’s been a quiet writing time for me. I have not necessarily been blocked, I’ve simply been experiencing word fatigue.

I haven’t been motivated to search for a subject and no topics have been knocking on my door.

When I saw the picture of my old front door this morning, I walked right through the threshold of nostalgia and there I was again on Charles Street.

My cousin sent me pictures from his recent trip to Englewood and there it was: my old house.

The flood of memories could not be contained.

I remembered how it used to be a red house, I recalled our downstairs neighbor Maria Guaperia and I thought of the view from my front porch…

It was a stretch of pavement where more children than cars populated the street.

It was a place where the magic of childhood is fixated in time and can still be summoned by simply looking at a picture.

This was a street where family and friends inhabited each other’s homes, ignoring the privacy of doors and the chimes of an inopportune time.

This was a rural, ethnically diverse place where Cuba met United States by way of the George Washington Bridge.

This was and will always be home.

I can’t describe it enough other than to say that it defines so much of who I am today, mostly because it was part of me for only a brief time.

It is surprising how many people, places and things can make an impact on a child’s life in those early, formative years.

But here I am looking at this picture and longing for a time deeply buried in the pages of the past, yet so vivid in my memory banks.

I sometimes wonder how life would have been different if I had started my journey in Miami instead of Englewood.

I would probably have the same nostalgic sense of self, except I would not be reminiscing about a two-story home on Charles Street.

Instead, I would be thinking of my old duplex on Carlito’s Way.

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