Memories of my childhood island are as precious to me as a natural resource. I have plentiful, but I know one day they’ll run out; I have to take sparingly. Maybe one day I’ll need to visit once more to rejuvenate my supply.
Here is what I remember:
🌴 The beaches were my personal kingdom. I would roam them with bare feet and bodyguards; my dogs Puppet and Jackie.
🌴 The roofs of the houses were flat cement. I’d use a ladder to climb up my neighbor’s and do my homework, the saltiness of the sea breeze settling into my hair.
🌴 We would burn our trash beside the house. I’d play with the fire, poking at it with dry branches, seeing how easily they would burn.
🌴 You’d know if someone died. Funeral processions were the only occasion on the island that you would see that many cars in a row, like a row of ants on their way to food left out.
🌴 I would sometimes find lizard eggs in our kitchen shelves, half an inch in diameter. A few days later, I’d open the same shelf to find egg shells broken open.
🌴 I collected shells like taxes from citizens. Then I would spread them out in my room and inspect each one, like a greedy ruler bites each coin to confirm its authenticity.