I'm awed by the minutiae of memory.
Beauleigh Mansions, Stellenberg Avenue
They're so vivid, so very clear, so startlingly clear
in fact that at first it's the pristine clarity itself which takes
front and center
rather than the life altering decision I made back then which I
intend to distinguish. First it's inaccessible: fog, pea
soup. Then, suddenly, there it is: like an airstrip
abruptly coming into view as you land through clouds, total recall
in sharp focus, vivid living color with every imaginable detail
The year is 1954. I'm four years old. We live in a house we rent at
7 Stellenberg Avenue in Kenilworth, a suburb of Cape Town,
I remember the name of the house. It's "Lowlands". I can clearly
see the brass plaque on the
pillar at the end of the driveway with the name inscribed. I
remember whom we rent the house from: Hindy Bloomberg, sister of
Sylvia who is the mother of my four year old friend Alan Arcus.
Down Stellenberg Avenue is a block of flats (translation:
apartments in American English) called "Beauleigh
(we pronounced it Byoo lee) Mansions" where another
friend of mine lives: three year old Jonathan Kramer, and his
American mother Bea.