We were sitting around the table as the click clacks of forks and knives had made their ways into conversations and filled-in the occasional silence of food chews. My aunt spoke loudly as she usually does, and my grandmother listened and nodded as she always does. An unimportant phone call interrupted my aunt’s hilarious subject, to then start talking about a certain gallery or museum she went to. Oh right I REMEMBER, it was a project made by physicians? I don’t even know.
Point is, the project involved taking pictures of elderly people’s faces.
The way she described it almost made me tear up. I felt her eyes sparkle for a little I’m sure of it.
They took the pictures and framed them (or at least that’s how i imagined it) and focused on the beauty of an old face, scarred and almost hand-drawn. I could imagine how each crack told a story, how the lines next to my grandmother’s eyes indicated her smiling for so long, how i would like to know what it was that made her smile so much and what she saw through her now tired eyes. she saw generations grow and children one day getting married and moving into someone else’s loving arms. This house has seen so many moments of joy it’s hard to miss the sheer the happiness that bounces off the walls. This house doesn’t lie. If I could speak to these doors we’ll have a long heartfelt conversation because I grew up here. Years ago I was sleeping on that same bed when I was half my size now, and I got comfy with the same sheets I wrapped myself around with for years, today. How things don’t change even when they do. You leave home and all you do is want to see it one more time and smell the coffee in the morning one more time and see your grandmother standing on the terrace just a few more times so you could be sure that memory will be encrypted in your brain so well you remember details like the weather and the time and who it was your grandmother waved at from the balcony. I know it here so well, all so familiar to the point that I still remember the crisscross patterns of the laced sheets my grandmother still puts on the small wooden tables, hinted with fairly tiny bruises from being moved too quickly or dropped by a cousin at some point (the tables, that is). The carpets feel the same on your feet, and you never get tired of watching that pattern trying to figure out what animal it was and where it was going and why it looks so scary on the carpet. My brother and I used to make games off the big triangles we saw on it. I can still hear us laughing for no apparent reason, which felt like the best reason of course.
Every little piece of this house somehow ended up giving me a little piece of memory. A flash really, that comes by with particular smells or a certain laugh. The cracks on the walls, just like the one’s on my grandmother’s face and hands, have seen happiness and love and went through years on with generations of difference and similarity. The couches know me more than quite a few people. They’ve seen me cry and sob, laugh hysterically and get angry. They’ve seen me grown up and adapted to my body getting bigger. Somehow the couch always fit me, then and know, and it always will.