A conversation about a school art project leads us on a circuitous internet search that ends at a map of Detroit. It turns out that I remember, somewhere in the depths of my mind where such things are stored, the street address of both my grandparents’ homes. It has been decades since they lived there, and yet, as soon as I zoom in and switch to street view, I know exactly where I am.
Both houses – the one in Detroit, and the one just a few map-clicks away in Ohio – are more run down that I remember, the trees in front of them bigger. But there is the porch where my grandmother served us ice cream in cones, and the side drive that sidles up to the house, the doorway that leads down to the basement where my grandfather’s darkroom was. There is the hill we ran up and down, there is the long stairway up to the front door. A few clicks more and we are down the block at the school where we climbed the stone wall on long afternoons before heading back to the house that always smelled like fried chicken.