It feels peculiar, as if a cold, heavy boulder is in my belly. I do not understand, nor do I want to.
I continue to hop periodically from one foot to the other, no longer enjoying the momentary respite of cool air, but focusing on the pulsing pain as soles burn on crazy paving.
Allowing the wetness on my cheeks to dry, I stroke my thumb along the rough weaved rope; savouring each braid, small and large. Fingering them like rosary beads, silently wishing, eyes forward. The rhythm of padding feet welcome dusk.
It works – of sorts. Come nightfall, I am in a new narrow room with boringly obvious shadows. Fingertips travel the cracked paint on my homemade toy, circling the groove of the once-coffee-tin-lid, rope looped around my forearm in a lazy embrace. Reminded of my loyal companion, my history, my good-natured default, yet the future is ominous.
Years ago, over much red wine my mum-in-law and I shared first memories.
Hers is moving house with her only toy and the boy next door not wanting to play with her. This stuck with me and to be honest, that wee boy pissed me off. My mum-in-law rocks.
So, when the Memory Maps project came along it seemed like a perfect fit. We got together with fizzy wine and a stack of paper. It was a bittersweet adventure. Heartening that Sylvia had such a happy childhood, but sad that inevitably life goes on, things change and people die.