The house that a lot of this month’s stories took place in — my grandparents’ house — no longer exists. Or rather the house itself still exists, the shell of it remains, but the inside is completely different.
One of my biggest regrets was going to see it as it was being gutted. I was in my late teens by that point, and well out of childhood, but seeing the kitchen torn out, the tiles broken, the inside a ruin, was a shock. It felt like someone had abruptly jerked me out what remained of my childhood and kicked me out into the cold.
I really wish that I didn’t have the memory of how sad and forlorn it looked, all empty of furniture and people, and all broken up inside.
One thing did make me smile: in the middle of all the destruction a wall remained with large white circles where the paint had been picked. The paint was terracotta in colour, and as a young child I had surreptitiously picked a little crack every time I went past that wall (which was every day since it was at the bottom of the staircase). Once I noticed that I was picking the crack into a circle, I created more circles, and by the time I was old enough to know my numbers, I took a green crayon and numbered the circles to arrange them by size.
My grandparents hadn’t minded my casual vandalism. They never repainted the wall and even as the house was being gutted and renovated, it remained with my circles and my childish numbers. It was a nice little metaphor for the enduring magic of childhood.
As I left the house, it occurred to me that the place where I spent a large chunk of said magical childhood now only existed in my memory. It was an awfully sad thought.
So it’s been nice to bring the old place back to life for a little while. I guess now it exists in my memory, on this blog, and in a little bit of all your imaginations, since you gave the stories life by reading them. And that, is a very wonderful thing — so thank you for reading.