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.