A name in a newspaper catches my mother's eye and she asks me if I remember those kids who used to live down the street from us, in that green house, the one that never sold and was rented for years. What was their last name?
Here's what I remember: It was a grey day, cold enough so that my first thought was to play inside. The doorbell rings and it's this little kid named Steven, whom I've never met before. He tells us his parents have sent him down the street to see if that girl who lives here would like to play. I get bundled out the door and, I suppose, we play. I don't remember what we did. I remember his face (freckles, dark brown hair) and that I wasn't used to kids coming to the door. I might not have been in school yet.
While my mom remembers, sort of, a family with a slew of kids who would run crazily around the neighborhood, I remember a single instance of one kid coming to the door. Oddly enough, I remember snatches of things from the house we lived in before we moved to that street where my parents still live. I had friends, we went to church, a duck barfed on our driveway, wasps invaded my green plastic playhouse.
Then we moved. Dad joked about how long it took that house to be built and how they better carpet over people if they couldn't work fast enough. I expected to find lumpy remnants of electricians when we moved in. My parents sent me to Port Arthur so that they could move without me irritating the bejesus out of them. That fall or that winter, or maybe the next fall or winter, Steven came knocking at the door and brought with him hints of school and the establishing memory of living in Lake Jackson and going out the door, down the driveway, and into the life of the neighborhood.
I remember that guy. His name was Steven.