Who We Could Be

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Think of who we could be. One day, years from now, what will I remember of my past? Will it be my first love, my first loss, the day I walked down the aisle? Or will it be images of my little black rain boots, the pictures on your bedroom wall, that time the sunlight made your eyes shine gold, the smell of rain on my mom’s brick patio, the feel of his bare knee touching mine, the sand between my toes when I ran free with her? I think those are the things I’ll remember most of all.

I look at the old woman sitting in her plastic lawn chair by the road. The dust from the construction blows across her yard. All she does is smile and look at the people walking by. She loves seeing children. Sometimes her neighbours bring their new babies for her to hold, or their toddlers for her to talk to. She must have family, a history, memories; but I wonder what they are. Is this where her story will end? Why does she seem so content? Is she where she wanted to be, in that green plastic chair looking at the road? I find her fascinating. I both hope and fear that one day I’ll be just like her.

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She looks at the road and shifts in her lawn chair. It is a sunny day today and her long dress sticks to her back and her thighs. She loves these days because they remind her of her old home. In Greece she and Carlos would sit in the sun until they turned into puddles. Then they’d slink down to the harbour and peel their clothes off, jump in the bright blue, and swim until dinnertime. When they got married and moved to Canada they sat in the driveway until they turned into jelly, then they’d plop into their purple kiddie pool and sip cocktails. Days like these she could feel him next to her, begging her to go for a dip.

 

Instead she listens to the children running by, the people coming and going. She lived in the heart of her village in Greece. Commotion and noise always suited her just fine. The more screaming couples, singing youth, laughing children, and passionate conversations the better in her eyes. Her own home had always been full of chaos. Happy, messy chaos. She leans back in her sticky old chair and her heart swells. She thinks of Canada Day, when her sons and her daughter will pick her up for a weekend with her grand kids at the lake. She can’t wait to jump right in.

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I think of who I could be . Will I remember this woman and her green chair, her long floral dress, and her easy smile? I still can’t figure out what she’s smiling about, but it comforts me somehow.

It’s a sweltering day, but I’ve always loved days like this. My cousins and I would jump in the water right now when we were up at the lake. But we’re older now. They have summer jobs, husbands, kids. I’m more like her, the woman by the road. I stay in one place, but I’m oddly fine with being here. I’ll leave when I’m ready. I still have so much time. I feel a bead of sweat roll down my temple and walk over to the shaded oak tree by the road. The woman is so close, just one tree over. I want to say something to her. I look at her, and she looks at me.

 

“Hi.” I say.

 

“Hello. It’s quite humid today isn’t it?” she says.

 

“Yes.” I pause, picturing the lake. “I wish I could go for a swim.”

 

She laughs. It is a beautiful sound.

 

“So do I.,” she says.

 

We look at the road for a while. The dust blows by, and down the road some children ride on skateboards while eating popsicles.

 

“Would you like to come sit dear? I have two chairs,” she asks.

 

I look over and see that there is in fact another chair. One just like hers. They look like chairs right out of the fifties. I never noticed there was another one.

 

“Okay. Thanks.” I say, crossing into her yard. For some reason it feels perfectly natural to walk towards her and sink into the chair. It squeaks. I lean back and watch the road.

*8

As I sit in the chair next to her I feel a smile of my own forming. I get why she smiles like she does. It’s not only memories that define her. She simply enjoys being here, being around. Everyday is a chance to live a new memory, to meet someone to talk with. I realize being her wouldn’t be bad at all, in fact she might be the only person I know who’s got it figured out. She just lives and soaks it in. There’s nothing like sitting in the sun, stuck to a lawn chair, not worrying about who you might be one day.

By Ashley Foy

featuring artwork from Alicia Krawchuk 



etre

We are a creative hub urging you to fall in love with the fullness of who you are, a platform for introspection through all types of artistry. In essence, then, we press towards capturing the shared experience of the human condition with the appropriate blend of charm and raw honesty, offering ourselves and our subscribers a new way to conceive of and appreciate the richness of life, including even its tragedies.