rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Something Lost

For many years, I went for walks in the evening along Valley Boulevard in Alhambra. Several times a week I would leave my house, walk up the hill past the mental hospital (must write something about the mental hospital someday), past the ice house and grocery store on the corner (must write something about the ice house and grocery store someday), under the freeway (I don't think I'll write about that), and a bit more than half a mile north along New Avenue to Valley Boulevard. There are a lot of things along Valley Boulevard that I could write about someday, but the particular thing which led me to mention these walks tonight is a small Italian restaurant that stood on a corner about two miles west of New Avenue. I didn't walk that far very often, but that particular restaurant somehow developed the ability to evoke a particular feeling in me, which I never quite got into words.

From time to time, it still pops into my memory, as it did tonight. Whenever it does, that feeling, compounded of anticipation, mystery, desire and a strange overtone of sadness, inevitably returns. This is not the result of any experience I had in the place, mind you. In fact, I only ever went into the place once. The feeling arose the very first time I passed the restaurant, which was in a low, nondescript concrete block structure, its windows covered with thin blinds, never fully closed, but through which little could be seen. The main reason I didn't go into the place for so long was because I feared that the experience would alter the way I felt about it, and the feeling would be lost forever. When I finally did go in, my fears proved to be unfounded. My sense of the place was altered, but the feeling was neither diminished nor clarified by the experience.

It has been a while since I thought of that place. When a vision of it came into my mind tonight, triggered I think by the still, damp air lingering here, and which is an air I associate with a particular evening when I passed that place, I had an unexpected shock. Since the last time I thought of it, I have forgotten the name of the restaurant. (Thus all the generic references to it.) I think the name started with an A, but I'm not sure. I am surprised that I forgot, and even more surprised that I find the fact so distressing. Now, I'm wondering what other bits and pieces of my past have slipped away unawares. I know that I have forgotten other names, but this particular name is one I never expected to forget. This name was like a particular stitch in a piece of cloth, the loss of which might cause the whole cloth to begin unraveling. I still retain the sense of the place, but I no longer know what to call it. It is as though the time and the place and I have all come detached from the earth, and are drifting in this distant night, and are soon to dissolve in this damp air.
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