I’m writing a book called Ship Kids. This is an excerpt that may or not make it into the book.
It was like everything caught up with me all at once, like I’d been running and running and running, and suddenly my heart had slammed right back into my body.
Looking out of the corner of the window, alternating my stare between the reflection of the panel lights in the window with the yellow dotted lines outside moving so quickly they became solid, I started to process. I was suddenly brought back to a memory.
You’ve heard of recurring nightmares, right? I think we also have recurring daydreams. I think of them as those moments we can’t really explain why they burn so deep in our brains.
My recurring daydream is this: I am in the park with my dad. The sun is bright, the sky clear. It’s early spring, the kind of weather where you pick up your jacket and put it on and then 10 minutes later take it off, etc.
I am five, maybe six. And my dad has challenged me to a race. And he shows me how to lay up a run, and my fingers push through the green, spikey grass and I can feel the dirt push back under my fingernails. And this moment stretches, lasts forever. 3. 2. 1. RUN.
And I run and run and run. I am closing my eyes, thinking it helps me run faster. I push, and I push, and I push. I hear my dad, “Run, run, run run. Come on Kay, be faster, be faster!” His enthusiasm was my fuel. And the wind is pushing against me as I push against it. The sounds, the smells, the sweat; I remember it all.
Why do I remember this? Why did I remember it now? I don’t know. Am I about to push harder? Is that what this memory means?