Drabble 110 – Saudade

Saudade

My childhood home burned down a few years ago. I can drive by the place where I grew up, but it’s all different–there’s a big, fancy house there, set far back from the road, so different from what I remember. The blackberry bushes I used to love are gone, the strawberries and azaleas I tried and failed to grow torn up, the woods where I used to fight off bad guys with a plastic sword bulldozed over and replaced with green grass.

It’s strange to drive by there and see something that still exists so concretely in my memory be entirely erased. I dream about it in intricate detail, reliving experiences there with such intensity that it doesn’t make sense that it wouldn’t be there. How can something so concrete in my memory be gone?

In actuality, I don’t miss that house. I’m past that time in my life and I don’t want to go backward, only forward. But when I think about that corner, about watching the fog roll in over the fields, about the taste of redcaps and blackberries, it feels like a haunting.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

SAUDADE

(n.) from Latin solitatem, for “solitude”

A deep state of longing for something or someone, with the acknowledgement that it can never be attained.

Anya hasn’t been home since she was twelve. She’s no longer certain what home is; her house no longer stands there, her family scattered like ashes. There’s a hole in her chest where home ought to go, and her tidy apartment with its ironed white curtains will not fill it. Her cat, Carmilla, does not fill it. Cookbooks filled with recipes she remembers but cannot perfect do not fill it. Money and girlfriends and books and alcohol and whatever else she tries does not fill it.

Knowing her family is alive but gone—it makes it feel emptier than ever.

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