As the weather shifts from Winter to Spring, I begin to feel familiar things. Not often, I have caught a moment that was familiar. I’ve seen a glimpse, or through smell received a memory, of days I seem to be forgetting. The street I grew up in looked familiar. For a moment, I had forgotten that the tree I used to try to climb was gone. I had forgotten that the bar across the street is now a zumba club, or party hall. I had forgotten the faces of those who left when the recession hit, but for a moment I remembered. For a moment, I was back on that familiar street, I remembered. A glimpse of Spring reminded me of some beautiful moments in my childhood.
Well, I was back on the street I selectively remembered. There are a lot of things about this street that I choose to not remember. A lot of nights in which something happened and the police took their time to arrive (the police station is nearby). I pretend that no one was killed in front of the bar. I act as if a neighbor never poisoned my pet, as if the home I grew up in was never violated by a home robbery, as if my sleep was never interrupted by a gunshot. I pretend that it was different and by doing so I insult the memory of what was of this street.
Lately, I choose to focus on what could have been. The kids on the street had potential. There was always hope and there was a lot of faith. The young ones hold onto hope and continue to pray; this is how they imagine a better future, and I instead choose to focus on what could have been. They look forward and I look back. I am going nowhere and I don’t think they are heading anywhere; maybe it’s time we meet halfway—in the present? This one street is the street that I do not see myself ever forgetting. It is a street that I do not wish to ever forget. Yet, as gentrification continues to occur in the area, as people continue to come and go, as the venues/stores continue to close, I fear that I will forget this suffering, yet beautiful, street.