yes and no

street

“Don’t you know where you’re going?” he asks.  “You grew up here, didn’t you?”

Yes and no.
I know these streets quite well.

I broke my favorite high heels in that sewer drain cover, broke someone’s heart at the ice cream shop 5 miles down the way, and broke down in a courthouse the same distance in the opposite direction. I opened my first art gallery on the corner of that one, and read my poetry aloud regularly right down the other.

I met Danny Trejo there, and the best hairdresser I’ve ever known two days later. I met a woman who can carve a Vulcan into any type of rock, and a little girl who is an heiress to a pizza dynasty. The two guys down that street make the world’s finest turkey sandwich, no matter what the old guy who lives down that other street will tell you.

I moved to Southern California when I was 15 years old and I’ve been here since, mostly.

I cried my eyes out at that mall and then walked down that street to a hospital– with dry eyes and a bag full of theater candy, just a few minutes later, and spent the next two nights telling silly stories in the lobby. I made a whole box of candy in that shop at the corner, which closed and became a gamer house, which closed and became a taco shop, which closed and became a salon, which closed and became a bookstore, which closed before it even opened.

If you go far enough down this street, you’ll be at the park where my husband proposed to me. It was more of a formality than anything else, will-you-marry-me written out in leaves. Only Dave could make a written formality so ephemeral.

He died barely two streets down from there, but I’ve never been to the house where it happened.

We adopted Perdita from the shelter down the way, and brought Flash home from the adoption center in the mall down the other block.  I lived in the county jail down the same street, for four months.

If you turn right on this corner, you’ll see my first apartment and the grocery store that burned down right next to it. One turn around that block and you’re back on the freeway, from there, you can go anywhere.

There isn’t an exit I haven’t taken, but I don’t know if that means I grew up here, or simply grew older here.  I grew tired here.

I’ve lived here for half my life, and I know these streets even though I don’t quite remember where I was going while I walked them.

So yes, I know these streets.  And no, I have no idea where I’m going now.

Yes, maybe, probably, sort of,
and no.

_____________________________

For the Day 2 challenge from WordPress Blogging University’s Photo101. Prompt: Street.

Do you know the streets around you?  Do you love my lego dino that the beautiful Dani Heart gifted to me, ages ago? (PS, Dani makes amazingly-crafted greeting cards, so if you’re in need, check them out.)

65 Comments

    1. I guess just so long as I don’t run into a wall, or fall into a ditch, (or get arrested #tooSoon) I’m good to go. 😉 They are good streets, really– lovely and busy and full of good food and great people. Thank you, Matt. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. The road and paths we’ve wandered down can tell us much about where we have been. But not so much about where we are going. The beauty of choice. The little dinosaur is precariously balanced… Maybe we all are. I really liked your piece. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you’re so right, Curt– there is a lot to say for the beauty of choice, and maybe even something to be said for the excitement of being precariously balanced? 😀 Thank you for reading. ❤

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      1. I recently read a quote by Mario Andretti in a book on Google: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” I like balance in my life but I also like surprise and challenge. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  2. But you know where you’ve been, right? And it’s a village surrounding you with memories. You can head out in any direction you want, take your time to decide, and you can always return!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A place is about more than just street names — its the lives lived there. And the things you described to us, placed us right there in the map.

    I still think of my home town, which I left 40 (GOD! 40?!?!) years ago. I can’t remember the names of many streets, but I can describe where I had my first kiss, where I got my puppies, where my heart was first broken. Other things happened there that aren’t appropriate for a dinoblog, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Oh I don’t know. The rating of this blog gets raised every year it seems. 🙂 Because life happens. I’m glad even being 40 years away from a hometown doesn’t take the shine from the memories. Thanks, Elyse. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lynette. Through a series of chaotic events, I ended up living in Los Angeles County, Long Beach actually, which I’m almost entirely unfamiliar with. At first it was sad to be away from my streets, but then I began to appreciate what a gift it is to have a chance to make new memories here instead of over the shadow of old memories. ❤

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  4. I love the dino. It was the first thing that caught my eye.

    When I wanted to be a police officer, my mentor hit me hard across the chest. He said that I was shot and needed to call in my location. That about made me memorize a map and drive the streets. Now, I know enough about where I live and will look for side roads. That said, I probably couldn’t remember much about what happened when I was there. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have streets of old, and streets of new. I knew my streets growing up in Houston and could navigate my ‘hood well in the late 60s and 70s.(Yes I am much older than you, but don’t let that detract you.) I don’t want to go through all the other streets I went through since then, but I think there is one my daughter will remember fondly growing up on the first 12 years of her life. She’s 16 now, and that move was the hardest of her life (foreclosure that we built from ground up ourselves! Got caught up in the real estate bubble.) We rented for a few years after that, but I’m hoping our new fixer-upper 1982 house will give her many more good memories before she flies the coop! Damn. I didn’t mean to make this so long. So many stories, so little time… XOXOXO Rawr!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Moves are hard. I did a lot of them in my youth. As to your daughter, I know she’ll find stories right outside her door because that’s something you learn how to seek, and with a mom like you who enjoys stories as much as I do, I can’t imagine her struggling with that skill. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Duncan. This whole week off posts has been classic Rarasaur, old school. 🙂 Of course, my family always says that there’s nothing more Rara then the “yes and no” answer. Everything depends on something else, of course. 🙂

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  6. Your memories are so vivid of your streets. What a wonderful gift to have such recall of the place where you live. Having moved a bit i don’t really have that same long time connection with any one particular place but a lot of places instead. I am now learning my streets in my new home but their names are difficult to pronounce so I refrain from saying them out loud. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’ve moved around this county so much that I lived in cells longer than homes and you know how often the system moved me. But at least I’ve stayed generally in this area. 🙂 I remember going to Louisiana as a kid and just pointing at places because there’d be no way I could guess the correct pronunciation. 🙂 I hope you are enjoying your explorations. 🙂

      Thank you for reading!

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  7. This made me think of Rutger Hauer’s line in Blade Runner: ‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe’ … one of the best movie soliloquies I’ve ever kept in my memories …

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful Ra, thank you for sharing❤️ I love how you brought these places to life in my mind with the – good and bad – memories associated with them. I’m not sure I could recall my hometown streets as vividly, though admittedly I do struggle to remember many of the street names now.

    I *LOVE* your little dinosaur so I’m pleased to find out where it came from😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Daniel. I’m never good with street names. It’s always: turn at the street light, next to the bus stop, by the sandwich place that has a green sign out front. 🙂

      That’s one of my little dinos. He’s a Lego! I made a comment about wanting one, buried in a long silly post, and then Dani gifted it to me at the blogger meet up. My larger dino was made by Dave and I recently made flat-Rarasaur myself. Rawr! 🙂

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  9. Hello Classic Rarasaur,

    Your post is so lovely, and I am so eager to be visiting my early digs next month’s end when I travel. I hope I can find the words to be poetic or at the very least interesting enough to blog about it.

    Is Ra planning to go somewhere new or again?
    Warm wishes,
    Ka

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ka. I am eager to see where your inspiration takes you, and what you decide to share.

      As to me going anywhere, not yet. I am both not a traveler, and also restricted by parole. 🙂

      Dani is so very thoughtful. The dino is on the cobblestone in my backyard which I figured was close enough to a street for the challenge. 🙂

      Why nervous? Anything I can do to fix or ease that? There’s a comment course over at wordpress that I enrolled in, if you’re interested it’s still open, 🙂 dailypost.wordpress.com

      Warm wishes and lots of love!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re Welcome, Ra. I see, it was cobblestone, after all 🙂 Yes, when you are done being restricted by parole, I wonder where you will go, and if you want to go anywhere. I understand your not being a traveler, which I think is pretty cool, because it is different from me who likes traveling, usually, and most people I know. How sweet of you to ask if you could do anything to help me be less nervous. I don’t know, but the comment course sounds like fun ~ I look forward to doing that or something like it when I am looking to spread my online activities some more; that is, when I have more online time. Thank you for your warm wishes and love. Also, very savory writing. Apparently, I can get over my nervousness just enough to post a comment, but I bet I’m not alone in feeling nervous and your sharing about the comment course is in favor of helping more than me 🙂
        ❤ Thanks you.
        ALoha, Ka

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I started to read this… and then saw the chicken. sighs… lol You know it’s funny I don’t often read through comments. I guess I am really missing a lot. Late to the party as usual. ah well. I love the line about Dave spelling out the marriage proposal in leaves. It is profoundly poetic I think. 🙂 Thanks for the shares and sweetness on my behalf. I haven’t been posting much lately. Too much going on. I need to though, and I intend to get back to it. Noelle and I were just saying we need to do lunch with you and mamasaur again soon. This post made me think of the places I grew up. I have lived in So Cal all my life. 🙂

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  11. So who among us knows where they are going now. Few. Not me. And I’m 60 next month. But it’s good to know where you were once, especially if you’ve been gone a long time. I can picture the streets you describe so vibrantly. Excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

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