“None of the things we thought were ours actually belonged to us.”
’ house. A little while later, I went on a walk with a boy and he carved my name into a tree. The universe was no longer confined to ten square acres of land. But the ghosts of my childhood were devoted spirits. Whenever I made the trip home and turned onto Lime Kiln Road, I braced myself for the pavement to dip into gravel beneath me and was always startled to find that the asphalt remained smooth under my wheels. It took me years to stop expecting my blind beagle to come waddling towards me, her cataracts reflecting the sunlight. When I was a child and the creek was high it was possible to hear the water running from our front door. Now if I listened the current was obstructed by the steady hum of distant cars and, a hundred miles above me, a plane on its way to somewhere else.
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Moving home to Newark has been a surreal experience because I have had to mourn places that once were, but are no longer.