There was a familiar sound I heard today while walking into work and it overwhelmed me with happiness, sadness and nostalgia all at once. It wasn’t even the sound, but it came close. It came from my left, I looked that way and just faintly smiled.
My childhood is divided between weekends with my dad, and weekends in the Cape. Bourne, to be more specific. Bringing the camper/RV to the Bourne Scenic Park was a thing of my mom’s side. It was my favorite place to be, holding so much fun and love.
When I was there I would go to the canal and just sit by the water – listening to the vehicles and motorcycles travel up above me on the deck of the Bourne Bridge. But when driving on it there is an unavoidable flicking sound. I don’t know much about bridges, actually nothing at all, but I know that sound when I hear it. It brings me back to the place I’ve always known.
It brings me back to the place where the lot was in the P – PX area. The place where our spot was directly across an abandoned campsite, and that’s when I would vividly imagine all the crazy reasons why the owners weren’t there. The place where right behind our campsite there was a small “beach” I would go to. That’s the place where my younger cousin, Xavier, got stung by a jellyfish. This is the place where I would jump in the front seat of the RV and pretend like I was driving, speeding down my imagination like Danica Patrick. This is where I would ride my bike and get excited to go over bumps because I felt like I was a motor-crosser, with my hair blowing and my smile huge as ever. This is the place where my sister, brother, and I would hike up this hill back of the basketball court that lead us to the playground and arcade area. This is where my grandfather would attempt to teach me Portuguese, but said I owed him a dollar for his lesson! This is where I always wanted to be.
When I lost my grandfather I lost my craving to be in the Cape. It gets hard to be there without him with me. He is the reason it was apart of my life at all. While suffering from brain cancer, if you asked him where he lived he would say “The Cape”. It became his home, like it became mine. So, for him, we added a picture of the camper with Bourne Bridge in the background on his gravestone at the cemetery. I’ve been to the Cape maybe 3 times in the last 3 years. One time – I was sitting by the rocks at the canal with 2 other friends at 3 in the morning drinking a bottle of Bacardi. Second time – Walked the canal with two friends at night, again. Third and last time – a cookout at my aunts site. Now, this year, my aunt is no longer at the spot. Now I have no reason to visit that special place, even if I wanted to. Like Drake would say, nothing was the same.
I can still smell it, the air and aroma of being there, and I can still hear the flickering of the bridge. I can still hear the loud bang on the restroom door upon entering or exiting. It felt like that campground was the only world I lived in, I would come and go as I pleased. I never feared anything when I was there, it’s like everyone had each others back. There is a spot that I can’t walk past without being hit with the memory of what lays there, seriously burns my brain.
This is the place where my grandfather would drive down Rt. 44 and stop at Muckey’s Liquor in Lakeville, MA before entering the highway to the Cape Cod on our right. This is the place that on the way my grandfather would put on the Portuguese station in his white Lincoln – I’m pretty sure it was a Lincoln, either way, we all called it a “the boat” – and I would try to guess whenever they would cheer “Gooooooaaaaalllllllll !!” for the soccer (futbol) game. This is also the time and place where I would listen to the Portuguese station with him and laugh every time the lady would say something in Portuguese but it sounded like “blueberry”. Ha. Just started laughing about it again.
The Cape wears the cape for me, that was my safe place.