Memory in London

Andrew - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

The memories that keep coming back are never the memories I expect to make in the first place. Overall, it’s really hard to tell exactly what will make a good day or a lasting impression. But when it’s all over, when I come back, whether it’s the next school day or the next weekend or the next party or the next year’s summer, I end up knowing exactly what I want back. I end up remembering like a photograph the moments that were perfect – the moments that attained that elusive, undefinable status.

The objects that best evoke this sense of belonging are the most familiar. My best friend, when he lived in London last year, was a familiar piece of me that was missing. My family flew to London last Spring break, and we stayed at their apartment for three days. Arriving at the door and reaching floor six brought an instantaneous change that was completely profound and at the same time, entirely subtle. Seeing that apartment with the room he Facebook chatted me from and the plain white bedroom and tiny kitchen as seen on iChat brought something up from the back of my mind, as if I was a seven-year-old at Church walking back to the pew from Sunday School where seeing my parents in that crowd of people brought a huge embarrassing smile from what had been my blank face.

And there was the memory – in London it wasn’t my home that I stepped into, but I knew it was a home I would be very happy to stay in for a long time. It’s funny how that works. How only my best friends can convince me that watching “Starship Troopers” is worth the time and that Super Smash Bros Brawl was any more fun than the GameCube one when they’re exactly the same. How the people who are most familiar to me make everything fun or at least interesting. By the way, Brawl was the first game we played when we got to the apartment: I doubt we exchanged more than ten words before the both of us realized nothing had changed – words weren’t necessary. Honestly, most of the rest of my trip was stupid. Later, in France it was almost like, God, I can see these images without getting up from my computer. Why am I here at all? The memories I expected to make weren’t the ones I made. The best memories from London were like waking up at 1 in the morning with water spilled everywhere. Right then, I was half asleep and half awake, too tired to play 20 Questions but not too tired to know that when you’re truly “At Home” there are no strangers to listen to, no people to be afraid of offending, no Euro Essay due next Wednesday. Then, it was about then. It’s for the moment that I believe, the absolute second, each one part of me being alive, and where I should be: Right here.