Step back take a breath I take myself. I’ve been sitting in the hospital for two whole days working out the details of my aunt. We are ll together cousins and more trying to help, be supportive, and take away moments with her. We are all there together talking about everything but what is really going on, we won’t not with my aunt lying there, in the room we stay positive but that is exhausting. I am just a visitor 2000 miles between my own bed and where all of this is. I must be crazy to leave all of my love and support back there, I can not be there for her, take on responsibilities. Why don’t you live in Brooklyn one cousin asks, then another, why is it that I don’t live down the street….from everyone. These people are my family and I can not explain. We left by necessity but in landing back in Denver we have found what we need to thrive, and this secret ingredient isn’t in Brooklyn it isn’t near all the people I love.
My words and thoughts are going just too fast for all of this sitting. I need to get out and walk, move through the streets that are part me, part of my family going way back. So that’s what I do I ride on a subway, then another, then another just to walk through the crowded streets looking up. Looking above the modernity of today and seeing the pieces of this place that are eternal, past down to me through stories and memory. I look up to see the sun. I look up to not be overwhelmed by how many people are here and how busy they all are. I think that if it were a little warmer that I might just drift back in time to when my grandmother could have sat on that stoop, or walked by that building. I look up at the cornices of buildings that map time back a century, further back to memories that I only hold through birth, ones that no one has told me in story form.
Then I move through those streets, letting myself forget why I am suddenly in New York. Forgetting the crowd of loving cousins. Forgetting that I am sleeping alone in my childhood bed. I slip into a world of stories and tales. And I move until the river is in my view and the sky is drifting blue. I move until I can come back into myself and know that I am not that little girl in the back bedroom, that I am a mother, a woman, someone with thirty six years of my own memories. That is when I let myself pause.
I haven’t decided if I am going to edit this one for grammar yet.