Some memories have archives, and these exist in a book I kept when I was seven.
I would pay my way in the world by selling conch shells to tourists off of the edge of a jetty on Petite Martinique. My business partners were my older sister and my younger brother. and I made quite a profit – it’s hard for anyone to resist that pink perfection of a Caribbean shell forever playing the ocean against your ear.
When we get off the 109 tram, the families in their Sunday sunny-day spring clothes flock to Ikea for meatballs and the promise of home improvement. On the other side of the road, a cul-de-sac is trying to swallow a footbridge inconspicuously with minimal success. Dry, dusty bushland circles the footbridge as the Yarra slithers and wiggles beneath our wooden floorboards like a cheerful Slip ’n Slide in a summer backyard. If it rained for a thousand years and the Yarra rose to meet us, I think, this footbridge would make a fine raft. I imagine sliding down the bend of the Yarra, sliding for years, and the conversations I would have with everyone else crossing the bridge with me when the water rose. I would learn the names of their families and where they went to school. When we finally made it home, we would write postcards to each other, and be friends for the rest of our lives.