She remembered arriving home from vacations of one or two weeks when she was growing up; upon seeing her house, a faint breath of depression would pass through her tiny lungs, and as well, a strangeness of of seeing a house that belonged to her which had been existing for one or two weeks, completely separate and disconnected from her, her who was only yesterday running through foamy ocean waves.
Her sister and she always marvelled at little “differences”; after two weeks of bronze bulbous door knobs, the smaller square knobs of their bedroom doors were odd to grasp, as if they hadn’t ever touched them before. She squeezed them, to recall them again, to realize they were indeed something she knew.
And the smells too, were different. She buried her face into her plush Beluga Whale, a souvenier from another previous vacation, and inhaled; its smell, of milk and potpourri and the crisp air that had woven its way through the Beluga’s dingy fur from her slightly-opened bedroom window, was the strongest indicator that yes, she was home. Home until the next week-long outburst of excitement and escape. These moments of rediscovery of her own abode gradually faded the more she left and returned until one day, she recalled these novelties and realized thereafter, that they were gone for good.
When she was 16, she flew alone to Nova Scotia to visit her grandparents, who were then still able-minded and mobile and alert. She had a boyfriend that summer, who she called every night for the first week until the beauty and snuggling up to her grandmother and watching television alleviated her crippling homesickness.
The Halifax waterfront became a place of exploration and joy. She would wander down alone, before her prescribed curfew, and listen to pop records on her Sony Discman while sitting on a park bench with a beaver tail and watching street performers and passing strangers and detecting dozens of different accents.
One day, she paused her music to listen to a violinist only a few years older than herself. His long shaggy brown hair trailed too far down, almost to his shoulders. Beneath his matted fringe were a pair of intent, sparkling eyes. She felt her heart pound courageously. People walked by tossing coins into his guitar case like like pennies into a wishing well. She remained seated and smiling, until the sun drifted away. The night air smelled of brine, fried food and popcorn, and she felt cool sea breeze tickling her shoulders. The lights across the water sparkled like winking eyes. The headlights of boats – both large ferries and small teetering motorboats – drifted by like fireflies. The world grew hazy and enchanted. Se