One of the things I like about living “back home” (that is to say, the hometown of my formative years) are the many, many memories I have when I bike, walk, or drive around the neighborhoods. It seems like I’d run out of old memories but I just don’t and they pop up unbidden: I remember going to a party at that house and this guy answered without his shirt on and I felt weirdly uncomfortable; hey, we watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre there and it scared me out of my wits; I was once invited to a pool date at the house of a higher social status peer – only once invited; oh, we smoked pot in that house; I once got sick doing Robitussin in the driveway of that house; I used to climb out of my bedroom window to see a boy there; I was friends briefly with a preacher’s daughter that lived there. Memories all reduced to just that, memory – in most cases not a single tenant remains, the houses have changed or atrophied; nor is there necessarily anyone else who thinks on these things at all.
Last night I helped a young mother during our weekly sewing date (she’s sewing pajamas for her oldest as a learning project) and she told me she always thought of her grandmother when she snipped and threw out threads, because her grandmother saved them all. I asked why, wondering if there was a seamstress’ trick in there and my friend answered, “Oh, she had heard that when you die, if you go to Hell, the Devil ties your wasted threads to you and sets fire to them.”