I am taking a creative writing class and our first assignment was to write twenty memories revolving around a single place, person, or event, all beginning with “She remembers.” We then had to cut them out, choose ten of the memories, and rearrange them to our choosing. They could be fictitious or influenced by real memories, and no interpretation or introspection was allowed. Strictly memories. Below is what I submitted:
She remembers knocking three times on the window. She watches as her Mamita slowly makes her way to the door, wearing her favorite purple capri pants, striped shirt, and sweater vest. Her short, white hair is perfectly combed. She smiles when she finally recognizes who it is.
She remembers the smell of pernil, burnt nearly to a crisp. Her aunt Olga unveils the BBQ chicken wings and arroz con gandules. The oven door opens and the smell of turkey fills the kitchen. “Yummy,” she can’t help but say.
She remembers the purple rosary that hangs from her Mamita’s bedpost. The glass beads catch the rays coming in through the single window and splatter reflections of light across the walls. Christ’s body twists in agony.
She remembers sticking her nose into her Mamita’s body powder and inhaling deeply. It tickles. She hears footsteps approaching and quickly closes the lid on the jar. Her nose wiggles, and a sneeze threatens to give her away.
She remembers opening a cabinet drawer; its heaviness takes her by surprise and she nearly drops it. She rummages through old photographs, inkless pens, batteries, half-melted candles. She pockets the pennies and nickels that have been left behind.
She remembers how the wine sloshes as she places the heavy jug of Carlo Rossi to her lips. It’s bitter and she pulls away, unable to hide her dismay. Droplets of deep red wine begin to spread on her t-shirt.
She remembers zooming through the kitchen and down the hallway during games of tag. “Keep that door closed!” and “Stop running!” ring out to no avail. Her untied shoelaces loudly tic tic tic against the linoleum floor.
She remembers opening the china door. “Shhh,” Nancy whispers. She gingerly pulls out the crisp dollar bill. MOTHER THERESA is written in black marker on the back. They look at each other for a moment and then back at the dollar, but neither speaks.
She remembers nestling into the corner of her favorite couch. She traces the outline of a flower with her finger. The velour lightens or darkens depending on the direction she swipes it in. Her mother lays a wool ruana over her and tucks in the edges around her body.
She remembers locking eyes with the portrait of John Paul II hung in the living room. They have a staring contest, one which the Pope wins yet again. Her eyes explore his face and red robe, and finally land on his wrinkled hands.