> Richard di Santo > First Walk


Walking, he passed from one place to another, his mind racing with recollections from childhood, as this was where he used to play, alone or with his friends, and that was the street corner where he would wait for his neighbour's parents to come along, where the teachers would talk and laugh about the day's events before heading home, and then the trees, the grass, the small, green patches of moss appearing between the stones of the sidewalks, the courtyard paved with asphalt, now re-paved, re-painted, the doors to the old school have also been replaced, painted an unrecognizable grey, nothing like the bright blue doors that would greet him every morning as he entered these halls, with their old drinking fountains and green tiles, the students' artwork adorning the walls, along with notices, photographs, directions, then onto the stairwell, where he would run, trip and race up and down, bursting through doors and out into the courtyard, or running to class, always late, and once in that room, for the first time in so many years, it seemed the same, he found his desk, and it was the same one he sat in then, his papers and notebooks still inside, in some disarray, just as he had left them, and once again he became familiar with the smell of the wood and the metal, of the pencil shavings hidden in the corners, conjuring still more recollections, projections, now drowning in his thoughts, cascading memories, an endless chain reaction of remembrances and nostalgia, until, still walking, now out in the courtyard, he stumbled on a small stone, placed somewhere near the games painted on the pavement, between the walls of the old school and the portable classrooms erected so many years ago, and saw once more the sun, the clouds, the sky, still the same sky, unchanged, unchanging, a deep, blue, endless reservoir of memory.

© 2003, Richard di Santo