This year, my birthday serendipitously fell a few days before the Postal Service played in Portland for their ten year anniversary tour. Their only album was important to both Tyler and I in our teenage years, so we figured we go and see and sing along - if just for nostalgias sake.
I wrote about the show (and about summers and memory) over in my column for The Equals Record
"There’s something about this season that makes the people and places linger in our memories with all the shadowy contract of a sun high over-head. They become inky outlines in our mind, of short-lived loves and seasonal friendships that occupy a disproportionate share of my memory.
Over the balcony, a thousand heads glowed below me, and I wondered what they remembered."
When we got home that evening after the show, we noticed Tyler had forgotten his keys. We checked the door handle and quickly realized we were locked out of the house.
To the left of the front door was a wide bay window, particular to the type of part-victorian/part-craftsman house common in North Portland. So I pressed my hands flat against the glass and pushed up the lower sash of the window. We climbed through the hip-level opening, legs first and into the living room.
Now, I'm not particularly clever when it comes to McGiver situations (though I do regularly forget my keys. More than once, my solution has been sleeping on patio until my roommate comes home). Opening that window wasn't an attempt, it was a kind of muscle memory - something tried and true that I knew. I'd done that trick a dozen times. I hadn't thought of it for years. It was a relic of myself at twenty-two; standing on the stoop of my first house in Portland.
By the end of the summer, I'd moved out of that house. And, I buried the memory of it along with the mistakes I made when I moved to a new city with old friends. After that, Portland became something different all together. It became the place I now think of as home.
But, climbing through that window made me think about summers and about the past. And about the the way they quietly hide inside us; waiting to be shaken loose by a locked door or a song.
(photos) on film with Leica CL | summer scenes in Northampton