The images weren't constantly distracting me from my work. They were more haunting me. They'd sneak into my mind when I least expected it. I'd be in a meeting and someone would say a word and suddenly I'd find myself thinking about a time I heard that word around one of those images.
We lived in the city for a couple years when we were teenagers. I was 12 and Jill was 16. We found a few good hiding places in the building we lived in but the place we settled on was our apartment's fire escape. Is that what I was remembering? It must have been.
When we'd finally come back in, it would be quiet, too. But I knew that's because the volcanoes were done erupting and the lava was still hot. And Mom had her worry stone that she was rubbing like crazy.
Then there was Uncle Julio. He wasn't our real uncle, but he treated us like he was. He was another kind of escape for us. I remember how he had hired us to help him with his junk business.
What was that junk, anyway? It was weird junk. Bits and pieces of things that were clearly meant to fit together with other bits and pieces of things but I had no idea what. He had a little kind of shop in the basement of our apartment building.
I wonder what ever happened to that guy...
That's why I decided to find my way back to that old neighborhood. I had the feeling that it would bring back plenty of old memories. I hoped they would help pull some of those old memory photos into better focus...
So, I took the day off from work and headed back into the city. As I look back on that trip, I don't remember much of the getting there, but boy do I remember seeing that old building for the first time in over a decade. All six stories of it's pre-war glory. All kinds of images flooded my mind. I remembered my father teaching me how to ride a bike and then yelling at me for not scrubbing the bathroom faucets clean enough. I remember my mother, doting over us as we went off to our new schools for the first time and then yelling at us for getting bad grades. I remembered Uncle Julio and his junk and some of his customers.