Salina Vang Narrative Description-FFD Mr. Henshaw APELC 8 June 2011 Walking Down Memory Lane Park Whenever I think of Projects Park it brings back many memories because it was in the neighborhood where I spent my childhood years. Even though it was just for a small portion of my life, for one of the longest times it was the place where I had the best memories of courageous acts. Project Park was where I experienced the feeling of always being around others my age and it where I met the coolest people and made the best friendships, some of whom I am still friends with today.
It was the place where at that point in time I lived my life to the fullest. Projects Park was located in isolation on its own block at the very end of the road. During the daytime children from all over the neighborhood came to play with their family and friends, me included. However when the sun went down night crept in turning the sky an ominous shade of antiquity and along with it, it brought creatures of the night to roam among the site. One evening upon entrance to the park I remembered the story someone once told me, “one could see the glare of two floating red eyes following those who meandered around the park at night. Rejecting the thought, but still a bit superstitious I entered the park anyways. As the sun went down it created an illusion as if the shadows were waking up from their dark crevices. I was standing at the foot of a shadow from a tall tree towering over me. The sun setting turned those tree-branches into arms grazing along the cement seeming as if they wanted to grab me. At the further end of the block a tall street lamppost lit up a dim fire dull enough just to see the path of the park. Night had come and it was so quiet my eardrums hurt and ever step I took sent chills down my body.
As I approached the swings I noticed the echoes of my footsteps had just suddenly started lasting longer than they should have. I took another step with my left foot, stopped, and then heard the brisk echo of another step after that. Looking down at my left foot, it was exactly where I had left it, somehow, the long echoed steps had not stopped, but were now storming towards me faster and louder than ever like a violent beating thunderstorm. Immediately, I turned around and in that instant, it stopped, a split second of dead silence. Something was definitely wrong.
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I felt like a hole had been punched right through me sending waves of fear down my back making my hair stand at their ends. My sudden instincts told me to approach the swings for comfort. However I remembered that I had caught seeing a swing move on its own accord before; as if someone was riding on its seat. The feeling of terror, noticeably aroused in my appearance by now, made me want to run for the wide open field. The open field was the highly vivid field of wherein games were held because of its noticeable boundaries of where the green grass ended and the sharp concrete cement began.
Now after dark, it seemed to lay awaiting and full of hunger for something to step onto its surface so it could suck them into its dark ruptured depths. It, during the daytime acted as a virtuous grass field wherein competition took its place. It was the place in the park where cries of victories could be heard and where one could also seek for rivalry. Suddenly just filled with thoughts of competition I was overcome with memories and had forgotten about the dark surrounding me. One of the games always played was Kick the Can.
This game’s boundary took up the whole neighborhood allowing for a lot of space. It was one of my favorite games because there was always one person “it”. Their goal was to spot every other player and try to get them out, at the same time, guarding the base containing the can. However with one person on one team and everyone else on the rivalry team it created several disadvantages. Players on the team with more people crouched between slits in the earth and hid within the shadows waiting for that intense moment when their rival finally looked away.
At last with the opportunity they jumped out of their hiding places running as fast as their legs could carry them for the chance to “kick the can. ” It was the only way to free all of their teammates from jail. Moreover for me personally the best part was being the person hiding from the rival. I loved the feeling of running from the enemy, acting like I was a ninja hiding against walls, climbing up trees, and maneuvering my way behind fences to escape the chance of being caught.
At the time, I thought it was the perfect space for me to roam around freely and still feel comfortable and safe because most of the people living in the neighborhood were friendly and didn’t mind the company. Unfortunately, there were those who disliked it and I did my best to avoid them. One again acknowledging my surroundings, I built up the courage to keep walking along the path as if everything was normal. I recalled the best of times shared here in this park with my friends, where we had our best of times playing, talking and sharing our amazing made up stories of us coming together to be a complete family.
It was also the place where we all learned how to ride our first bike and to ride our first roller blades after falling on our hands and knees countless times but getting up repeatedly to try all over again. Now walking along the path I remember the time when one of my best childhood friends, Michael Cheng, the cute little boy who secretly held a crush on me, chased me along the path while I ran for my life from the despair of being hugged and at risk of being contaminated with “boy cooties”, and it made me laugh. Sadly I regret that I no longer keep in contact with Michael.
If I could go back to the day he moved away, I wouldn’t even think twice about asking him for a contact number. With the feelings of fear, courage, and sadness all mixed within me, I felt crossed. Then looking back at the path I had just walked and up towards the now barely visible tree that seemed to be taunting me before, I had one last thought before I left the park that night. Standing under the dim light post, I remembered Michael, the boy who I had been running so horridly from; it had happened that he was the first boy who I had ever received my first hug from.
With that flashback, it gave my stomach the faint distinct feeling of rapture evanesce that left me with a bright hint of a smile on my face as I walked away from memory lane park. Today, even though I no longer live in the neighborhood of Projects Park, whenever I visit the place, there is still a part of me that can connect to the park, making it feel like home. I’m thankful that I still keep in contact with a couple friends from the neighborhood and usually, whenever we get together, we can still go on for hours telling each other about our lives of growing up together in the projects.
Sadly, I don’t keep in contact with most of my friends from the hood any longer. We have been separated by hundreds and thousands of miles far and wide, but, there is one thing I know we all still have in common, the family connection we had within Projects Park that will never be forgotten. In fact, to me, it feels just like yesterday that I was little kid, out freely roller skating, carelessly chasing friends, and enjoying my life to its fullest.
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