Sunday, July 12, 2009

my earliest memory

It's unlikely that I actually remember returning to the Essex House after seeing Annie on Broadway; my head nestled into my dad's chest, fighting hard against sleep. I'm certain I hijacked this, my earliest memory, from someone else.

I've heard the story countless times; everyone telling the tale from a slightly different perspective. My grandma JoAnn will describe the umbrella stroller that she was pushing a few paces behind. My mum will mention the red-headed doll bought after the show. A doll that I imagine I held in chubby fingers, that flopped over my dad's shoulder, brushing against his back with each stride. My grandfather (Da) will put the New York trip in context. He'll remind us that there was a special deal at the airlines - unlimited miles in 10 days time - the catalyst for the whirlwind tour of DC, Mexico, and New York; a four-year old grand-daughter in tow. He'll say that this was before you had to remove your shoes at security or carry on your own lunch. This was when you still dressed up to fly.

I'm not sure which of these details I remember. But when I close my eyes, I swear I can smell my dad's aftershave and hear my family humming "Tomorrow" as we walk down the New York City streets.

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