The Avenue is what most people who know me would suggest is my memory lane. The single lane that leads up to the palace that I called school, a row of trees either side. You can’t blame them for thinking that, every time I drove in, I would check if anyone was behind me and slow down to a crawl or even stop to enjoy the view. It’s where I remember Nuno slipping and Antoine cracking up. But it is not it.
To get to memory lane, we sneak around the corner. Our eyes scanning, to avoid the adults and head to the stairs outside the flat. The one with the secret passage to the garden round the back of the building, where the laundry lay. Listening for the grass to whistle in case we run into the monkeys or a snake, though there would be nothing for us to do but turn, run and pray. Exploring our known wilderness, as the tiles disappear, we ground ourselves with the warm grass touching our toes. As we get closer to the trees, the hadadas squark and the Indian Miners warn the rest of the kingdom that the baby giants are on their way to Mount Kailash which flows into the Koi pond, where the migrant Egyptian geese pay their respects and raise their young, away from the harsh desert heat. We find that our memories are hidden in plain sight, just in paradise.