flashes of memory

flashes of memory

My grandfather’s wrinkly, wiry hands, golden-dusted from peeling an orange. My small hands desperately grapping one to peel but no gold dust will stick to mine.

The taste of sake on my lips, broken bottles and glass covering the concrete floor in the empty hallways. Muffled voices sporadically heard behind stone walls, evaporating in the last hours of the night.

Sitting in a lonely car on the road at night, completely enveloped in thick darkness, the car’s single flashlights guiding us, stretch by stretch, with no horizon or sense of direction.

My mother’s footprints in the melted asphalt on hot summer days along the road.

Skipping stones across the lulling waves on the beach, getting my socks wet and sand in my shoes. Small stones hiding in my pockets that I forgot I had found and put there once. Precious stones to a child.

Caught under the sheltering arms of an old oak tree as a curtain of heavy summer rain and crackling thunder take us by surprise as we laugh and shudder.

A fox outside in the snow, passing the big window to the living room where we all sit. At the arresting sight of red, furry limbs moving against the white, snowy background we are stunned to silence and stare. The fox too freezes and turns its head to stare back at us for seconds that feels like minutes before pulling out of its stupor and moving on. My family joking afterwards that it was the red hair of my mother’s aunt that caught its baffled attention.

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