I Remember

Posted: August 11, 2013 by writingsprint in Fun Stuff, Slice of Life
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

parkI remember heat. Summer cross country practice in Pennypack Park, sophomore year of high school. I remember RK, yelling, “Country music sucks!” as we ran past a country music fair at the start. I remember JD, and his smile that went for miles that all the girls loved. I remember GD, the only guy on the team as weird as I was, with his brush-straight hair, braces, and the time that he said, “Leather and feather go together!” while sticking his tongue out like Ozzy Osbourne. That was back when you could understand what Ozzy was saying.

I remember the tunnel under the bridge at the start of our route. I called it Echo Tunnel. People clapped to hear the sound bounce. Some whistled. I yelled, “Ho!” because I couldn’t whistle like the others. People had smeared the walls with graffiti. Some of it looked pretty cool. The tunnel smelled like the gray smell of wet ashes. It always smelled like that. Cars rumbled on the road above us. I heard the bang when they hit the expansion joint on the bridge.

I remember the woods. The sun was going down and the bugs were coming out. You probably ate at least one every mile. You ignored the ones that you ran through. I remember the sun through the leaves and the sky darkening overhead. You ran faster when you saw it getting darker. Coach kept talking about the time they had to call the local police to find a guy who got lost. You’d never hear the end of that one. I remember fireflies. I remember bikers, runners, kids, moms, dads, dogs, frisbees, barbecues, burgers, and horses.

I remember sweat sticking the hair in my sideburns together and the scratchy burn of summer air as I pumped it down my throat, lungs working like a bellows, arms feeling the white burn of sore muscles on the third mile of five in summer practice runs. Long way to go.

Most of all, I remember the day I came over the last hill before the last turn at the end of the last run in my last year. I came to a part of the path where a wood rail fence ran along the jogging path, next to a steep drop to a creek that ran nearby. The creek bent here and turned deeper into the woods. Today I arrived as the sun was hitting the water as it went down. To this day, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

I remember.

This is one of my favorite writing exercises. The style is inspired by a story I read in a magazine about twenty years ago. I’ve long forgotten the title. The narrator would have asides where he talked to the audience, which he would start by saying, “I remember Siri.” (This was twenty years Siri became the voice on your iPhone.) Siri had been his love. Something happened to her, and he was haunted by her memory. I loved his eternal, almost obsessive grip on her memory.

This post was inspired by the WordPress weekly challenge prompt, “I Remember.”


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