Within the summer of what seems like an eternity ago, the radio lights of a car beamed neon blue as the sky grew darker. Silhouettes of black contrasted between fine lines of orange luminance, with the quiet rumble of the radio and the growl of the engine. As the car slowed, the engine breathed out a sigh of relief. Elbow on the ledge of the window, I looked out to the world, looking but not noticing the buildings that blurred past. And in that moment, I felt the trickle of boredom settling in, bored with this monotonous city.

A stranger on the street.

I was simply tired back then- exhausted.

Throughout the day I was uninterested in being dragged along lifelessly, like a rag doll for photos and photos alone. Going to some place called, D’arenberg first, with fancy red wines, clear transparent white wines and nothing that I could really do except bother my cousins, but even then, we’d be told to “quiet down”, so we sat, arms tucked by our sides as the adults sipped and bantered. But these commands would only fuel my fire to wreak havoc and more than ever the urge to chase my cousins became prominent in my veins.

And so, the rest of the day was spent begrudgingly following the adults (and secretly pinching and flicking my cousins whenever I found the opportunity) eating whenever we needed to be fed and then returning to the car for another drive to some fancy place for more photos, as if they were lacking them already in the first place. (Trust me they weren’t, but I doubt Grandma understood that). And each time we visited some other place, like a knife, the more jagged and rusted I got.

It was stupid really- if you thought about it that is. Admittedly I don’t think my parents thought about it- dragging four kids to a winery, are we even supposed to be there? We were like thirteen, eleven, ten and eight. Yet here we were, trailing the invisible paths laid by the heat of my uncle’s crisp black shoes. It felt like I was in prison. Cuffed to my fellow comrades as they trailed behind me, the tap of our footsteps became a steady rhythm.

My parents and aunts were patrolling police officers, batons in hand with nasty condescending glares, with the flick of a wrist a booming speaker ready to shout. To discipline. And with our mugshots taken so often, as if we aged ten years each passing minute. There was no end to it. It was basically absolute torture- to the highest degree- it was pure boredom. My mind could only imagine so much, to make-up games of simple things, to make tile lines lava lakes and to make doors indicators of our next adventure.

And at the end of it I was, bored.

With the sun an acting reminder of my hell, I found myself sitting in corners, back pressed against hard walls, my imagination lacking.

As the sun began its slow descent the streets began to light. Artificial strings of orange and gold laced cracked roads, black shadows of contrast intertwined themselves with the strings, and as the radio turned on, so did the familiar hum of the engine. And I began to watch-the flow of the buildings, as fast as river streams, behind windows were families. Like the rocks of rivers all with stories to tell.

But somewhere along the way, as tired tires tracked close to home, for a brief moment, for a brief second, the car reluctantly slowed its pace, and our eyes met in the midst of summer, 2014 under fluorescent orange lights and you waved, skipping along cement, a ridiculous hat atop your head.

And despite it being so simple, a small action like that, all of a sudden, I didn’t mind. I didn’t mind the clacking of my uncle’s shoes, the bitter scent of wine, the mugshots every single second- all of a sudden, it didn’t bother me.

And you smiled.

And I smiled back, a wave with dry hands, something so small- almost insignificant, and from this day I’ve questioned if you remembered me, like how I remember you. Blonde hair, with eyes I couldn’t see, walking with your family. Within a few seconds of seeing you, I felt pure bliss I’ve never felt once again, as if I knew you once before, a click sharper than breaking glass. A memory etched into stone, a burst. When you waved it seemed as though everything was okay- but as quickly as it came it disappeared, like the fizz of a coke can, it simmered away.

And I can’t help but wonder, making my way through the days…

If you’ve ever felt the same.