Where I’d Like to Be

I’ve decided to give WordPress’ Writing 101 a try this month. Mostly to get back into the habit of writing at least 5 times a week, if I can. Today’s assignment goes like this:

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

The hard part, really, is narrowing that down. There are so many places that I miss, it’s hard to say just one. But the one place that comes to mind right now is…the beach.

For 13 years of my life (2-15), I lived on the Jersey Shore; 2 miles and across the river from the paddocks of a major horse-racing park, and about 3 miles away from the beach. The one place on the beach that I miss the most is my piano teacher’s house.

It was a big, two-story Victorian beach house, across the street from one of the entrances to the beach closest to the amusement pier. A huge lawn and driveway in the front. A covered porch at the top of the stairs, where people waited when they were dropped off early. It was a beautiful old house, the kind that used to stretch from end to end of our section of the Shore and are almost gone.

Inside…it was something else. A huge grand piano in the living room, probably a lot of other rooms there too (I only went into a couple of them in the years I studied with her), and a small studio with a baby grand and recording equipment at the back. I don’t remember there being anything special about the way the house was decorated or furnished. The one thing I remember is the way I felt.

Like a lot of other kids, childhood was not good to me. Home wasn’t the greatest, but better than school. But every week, I could go somewhere and feel…well, I don’t know that safe is exactly the right word, but it’s the only one that I can think of. It was bliss for me, even for an hour a week.

The people who lived there are long gone. I’m not certain if the house is still there; it’s been a long time since I’ve been back, and most of that part of the Shore is heavily developed (and that’s been decimated by Hurricane Sandy, as I’ve heard). But sometimes I think about it, and remember how that hour a week felt.

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