I met a friend for coffee a few weeks ago. It is a coffee shop that she and I go to pretty regularly, but we hadn't been there for a few months. I parked my car, got out, and started walking, but then stopped in my tracks as I remembered the last time I was on that street. It was with a different friend. That is exactly where I was parked I thought. And that is exactly where we were standing when we kissed. And, yeah, that situation ended up differently than I wish it would have, but I couldn't help smiling as the details of it rushed back to me. The urgency, the thrill. The taste of the beer we'd been drinking. The chilly, fall air counter-acted by the warmth of another person's body. The stillness of an abandoned street at one a.m. I relished in the memory of it for a brief moment, feeling at once both slightly giddy and profoundly sad, before continuing down the street to my destination.
It was nice to find that simple place evocative. Nice that a little, nondescript side street in Downtown Minneapolis made my heart beat differently for a second. It made me feel a connection to these Cities in which I live and work. It gave me ties --roots-- to this place. After years of living here, and longing to be back in London or St. Joe or home on the prairie, they're finally not just random streets anymore. They have context and connotations now.
Because now I can walk past a spot on the shores of Lake Calhoun and remember how my cousin and I sat there for three hours naming ducks and imagining intricate stories about their complicated, scandalous lives, vowing to return and see Gregory and Patrice's babies after they hatched.
Or I can drive past a restaurant and remember when it was a different restaurant and my mom and dad and I would go there for breakfast all the time because they had grapefruit soda from Jamaica and the most delicious sweet potato pancakes with papaya rum compote, candied pecans, and sweetened whipped cream.
So, yeah, with that guy, that night held more significance for me than it did for him and instead of being closer now, we're further away and I think that's a shame. And we didn't make it back to see Gregory and Patrice's babies until they were already grown so we didn't get to see them as downy little duckings trailing behind their mama on quiet, reflective water. And Caribe closed, and I can't find Ting anywhere but Amazon.com and that one Tesco Express in Covent Garden. But still, it's nice to have remembrances. They sometimes leave me with a happy heart, they sometimes leave me with a heavy one. But still.