I remember the still, oppressive air in the attic, where you could see logs from the original cabin our old clapboard house had swallowed whole.
I remember the scent of baking dust and pine needles that filled my nose and mouth while I toasted my skin to a golden bronze.
I remember the day I left, riding a bus across the Golden Gate Bridge, watching the morning sun burn through the fog and glimmer, pearl-like, on the great dome of the Palace of Fine Arts.
I remember promising myself that I would return home in just a few years.
I remember landing in an immense, flat gray city--suitcase, typewriter, and pillow in hand--where oil refineries lined the highway and the sky hung so low I could almost brush it with my fingertips.
I remember longing for my hometown, where mountains rose above the sea, the light glittered and glowed, and people spoke without guttural accents.
I remember the first excitement of Atlantic City, the mouthwatering greasiness of true cheesesteaks, and the gently-folded, idyllic landscape tossed, like a picnic blanket, at the city's feet.
I remember returning, one day, to the glowing, glittering, fog-shrouded city of my birth, only to find that--while I was wiping steak-and-Cheez-Whiz juice from my chin--it was no longer my home.
(c) 2013, by Hannah Six