TWENTY-THREE (Street Stories)

This is a tiny extract from my current work in progress.



Sometimes the only way to remember the early years is to trace the memories back to the streets they emerged from. There were so many houses early on, so many schools, so many new beginnings. Can a beginning be thought of as new if it starts and ends the same as all the other beginnings? Is this how other families work too, this constant shifting, but never starting over—just starting again, and again—sometimes only a few streets away, across a suburb line.

My family managed to find whole clusters of suburbs where time worked in the same way, always staying still, never moving. Suburbs where if you stayed too long you got a glimpse of the person you would become. I can see now, how easy it is to stay, how time and place can slowly wear you away, slowly permeate your sense of being, your sense of belonging. How you can wake one day and know without a doubt, that you have become this place where time is still, where people are worn away to their very shell, this place that you come to find you can never leave.

Some years there is more than one street, more than one house, more than one school, this makes it harder to remember. Some years my memories settle on other markers of time, of place. Some years the streets are all I have to remember them by, or the houses, the waking dreams, the nights I can’t forget.

Published by becjessen

Rebecca Jessen lives in Brisbane. She is the award-winning author of verse-novel Gap (UQP 2014). Rebecca is the winner of the 2015 QLD Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Her book Gap was shortlisted for the 2015 Sisters In Crime Davitt Award for Best Debut Book. In 2013 Rebecca won the Queensland Literary Award for Best Emerging Author. In 2012 she won the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. Rebecca’s writing has been published in Overland, Meanjin, Going Down Swinging, The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Mascara Literary Review, Tincture Journal, Verity La, Voiceworks and more. Rebecca is currently studying her Honours in Creative Writing at QUT.

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