Building Blocks - Kevin Domenic
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"So," Doc continued, "which memory have we come to see today?"
"I don't know," I admitted. "I mean, I remember the day, but only in brief images. I don't know if anything special happened on this particular date or not."
"What made you choose this day?"
I thought about it for a moment. "I wanted an average day. I mean, every day here was special. So that's what I wanted. A typical day."
I couldn't see him, but I could tell from his tone of voice that he had that warm smile on his face. "You lead the way. I'll stay close by at all times; don't worry about me. Just explore as you wish."
My eyes were fixed on the cabin. "Can we go inside?"
"If that's what you'd like to do."
Bravery has never been one of my strongest points. "I don't know. Do you think we'll be discovered? Maybe we'd better not."
"It's alright, Herbert." I felt his hand on my shoulder. "I won't put you in any situation I don't have complete control over."
That didn't exactly calm my nerves. But at the same time, what kind of fool would I be to turn down an opportunity like this? How many people get the chance to see loved ones that have died long ago? "Okay, let's go. We can get in through the back door."
As usual, Grandpa had forgotten to lock up. That saved me from having to remember the passcode. A flood of aromas filled my nose when I inched the door open. Everyone's house has a smell of some kind. Most people just overload on whatever air freshener they like the best. Some smell like fabric softener. Then there are some that smell like whatever food they cook most often. Grandpa's cabin fell into that category. The smell?
Bacon and coffee.
And maybe butter.
It was a combination of flavors that brought back memories of summer mornings when Grandpa would be making breakfast while I played with my toys in the living room. I could almost hear Grandpa telling me stories about the big fish he had caught on his latest adventure on the lake.
No, I really was hearing it.
Doc and I stepped through the door to the rear den. I could hear voices from the other room along with the sizzling of breakfast on the griddle. The den was just as I remembered it. All of Grandpa's biggest fish were mounted on the walls. His favorite old couch was there. Even his fishing gear was piled in the corner, presumably where he left it after a recent trip. The fireplace and wicker chair where he used to read, the wooden coffee table he carved—it was all just as I had remembered it.
"Breakfast is served!" a voice boomed from the other room. There was no mistaking it. That was Grandpa!
Even knowing what I was about to face, the sight that greeted me when I stepped into the living room stopped me dead in my tracks. There he was, Grandpa Joe, standing at the little table near the far wall with a plate full of bacon and pancakes in one hand and a pitcher of orange juice in the other. At this point in my life, he had to have been around seventy years old, but he didn't look the part whatsoever. He took good care of his body—the temple, he called it—with routine exercise and plenty of vitamins. And though his temple was routinely bombarded by bacon, that was likely his one and only vice.
"Come and get it, Herbert!" he said.
There's no real way to accurately describe what it is like to look upon your childhood reflection. A part of me wanted to cry. I was staring at the innocent little boy whose outlook upon the world had yet to be corrupted. Yet another part of me wanted to go and punch that child in the face for being so naïve to the nature of the society around him.