I have returned there where I had never been. --Giorgio Caproni, "The Last Homecoming" Peter Selgin essay ometimes, while drifting off to sleep, I play a game with myself. I imagine myself in Bethel, Connecticut, my hometown, circa 1964, when I was six or seven. I imagine myself walking down Main Street, slipping into its shops and stores as they were back then. The object of the game is simple: to piece together, as comprehensively as possible, out of the Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs and Lego bricks of memory, the place where I grew up, down to the smallest trivial details. Store by store, night after night, I reassemble my past. Photo by Matt Carman It doesn't matter where I start. Tony's Food Market, at the north end of town, will do. I begin at the meat counter, behind which Tony--Mr. Caraluzzi--stands in his bloody butcher's smock, his hair not yet gone gray. The mounds of ground beef remind me of spaghetti. From there I inspect the aisles, admiring whimsical cereals in tidy boxes, cans of soup lined up like toy soldiers in their red-and-white uniforms, cartons of ice cream in freezer cases, racks of spices and baby food,
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: May 3, 2012
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