As I drive the weary streets of Del Rio at 5:45am, the dead store fronts all have something to say. It is hard to keep them hushed and quiet, memories begin to reinstall themselves.
A few years ago I dreamt I was living in Del Rio again, driving a truck on the one way street downtown, long before the sun came up. I spotted housing and for the first time noticed that it had been an old motor lodge, then a gas station, now apartments hidden behind palm trees. My memories of the place was only of a boarded up building with red trim. It was deja vu the other morning when I passed it in the dark and saw that yes, it had once been a a small motel, maybe 70 years ago or so.
I would wake up from dreams of my hometown, homesick, wishing to visit. Sometimes I wanted more though, I wanted to go back for just an instant, loving how the place felt when I was a child. The way downtown surrounded me when I was in my mother's or grandmother's arms. How I would notice the way the sidewalk met the building as I walked looking down, holding my grandfather's hand.
I sang a song to August while parked and waiting for the train to pass. It was a long train, she had fallen asleep so I took out my camera and filmed the cars picking up speed. In the morning darkness I was able to see an old bus depot with walled up windows, and a drive-in restaurant. Buildings that had gone unnoticed for several years were now greeting me and introducing themselves.
August is living in Del Rio, sometimes wearing my baby clothes, her first summer where I spent my first summer. We went into a thrift store the other day and walked the floor where my mother stood with me when it was Houghton's toy store. Same sun, same building, same floor, more love.
Meandering, weaving, in and out of this world and into dream worlds, past worlds, standing in the present world, here we all are, existing as ourselves or as who we once were in the minds of others. I am there again and I am here, the best of all worlds feeling very lucky.
“Memory and dream are intermixed in this mad universe.”
~ Doctor Sax by Jack Kerouac