"Memory is a strange thing.
You can spend hours and hours studying something without learning it for real. You can look at a sheet of paper for hours and hours and be sure that the drawing that is taking shape makes sense and suddenly you do not remember where you wanted to go, what was the meaning. Memory is undoubtedly a strange thing. We can never predict what is going to strike us deeply, what remains tattooed in the soul. What I learned from my personal experience is that often vivid images manage to mark people less than sounds or smells.
I often go back to 2004. So let’s start with a noise. Thuds, one crunch, a key that turns and a girl who flies from her bedroom to the door. He is there. It’s definitely him. Years have passed, and his face is now fading in mind, but that sound would be recognized even at a concert of a drunk cheap cover band. My grandpa was a pirate. He entered the house with a heavy single step and put the key in the door lock always twice because at first the key was never turned right. He came in and carried the noise of the street and the people and with the noise also carried that scent; so incredibly vivid in my mind, it was a perfectly balanced mix of all the things he liked the most. The cigar, the sea, the city, the noise, all concentrated in a single vivid smell, the same that could be found smelling a glass of banana rum in a crowded bar in St. Maarten. So he came in, lifting me up in the air and I flew over all these things.
I imagined everything under me; pirate ships, Borbonic Naples, the treasures to be found and the doilies, doilies as hats and as fishing nets of our imaginary sailing ship, we were constantly hunting mermaids and treasures of sea glass. He was the Commander, and I was the young heroine, who thanks to his lessons faced every kind of obstacle. I closed my eyes and left the reality behind me, I pointed straight at home, looking straight to the sea. And just flying on the sea I dreamed of all this. In front of the sea, happiness is a simple idea. The sea is without roads, the sea is without explanation, yet for all my questions, Grandpa always had an answer, always different, always unique.
Grandpa was home.