Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Where does the past go?

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and MONKEYS!

Spending a few days with my mom was a real pleasure. She’s the type who can talk about anything, sometimes even won’t stop talking when you want to hear a little movie dialogue, and because she can’t hear all that well the volume is super high as it is. But we covered topics from how she prays every night that we’re safely delivered from Trump’s madness to why you can’t look directly at a solar eclipse. See, St. Louis is about to be Ground Zero for a total eclipse on August 21, and everyone’s gearing up for the economic bonanza that will come from it. People will travel from all over the world to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event. At least they’re planning for it back there.

Mom’s little Shih Tzu, who’s remarkably reticent, finally decided to let me pet her late into my stay.

We watched Muriel’s Wedding, the three of us, as I mentioned the other day, and I was surprised to learn that Mom really likes the songs of ABBA. I noticed that she especially perked up when “Fernando” was playing.

I went over to my brother’s house, and we played guitar together in his home studio. He has some great gear, like a rockin’ loud Fender Deville, so we really shook the rafters. Sounded like a band that might have made it big if only someone like Brian Epstein had discovered us when we were in our twenties. And get ready: we started working on a song together and plan to shoot the GarageBand file back and forth to hammer out our first joint project. I will force you to listen to it when it’s ready. Yes I will.

I cooked for my mom too. I made a fab potato and onion soup and some fresh bread, topping it off with an apple pie. I’m sure she’s still working on all of it. She didn’t have any wine glasses so I bought her a couple (above). They have a monkey on them, hanging onto a palm tree. Who wouldn’t want to drink wine out of a plastic glass with a monkey on it?!

Going back to your home town when you’re sixty is an interesting experience. Especially when you’ve been away for almost thirty years. The familiar is still familiar, but some of it feels like a facsimile of the thing you recall. The trees you remember are now tall and filled in. Things that seemed large then seem small, and some things that were there before are gone now and exist only in your memory. Change is slow and constant, but there’s a lot that remains and you find that your childhood exists in a dimension that has been there beside you all along.

The sound of the cicadas as they crescendo in the dark treetops at night tell you that …


8 comments on “Where does the past go?

  1. pinklightsabre
    August 4, 2017

    Thirty years! Wow, had no idea. Like the cicadas, nicely put. To the poet’s heart, that’s good.

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 4, 2017

      Yes, the 30 years was a bit of a shock to me too, when I thought it all through. Spring of ’88. San Diego. Never looked back.

  2. krishnakumarsinghblog
    August 4, 2017


  3. Phillip McCollum
    August 4, 2017

    Remind me to have you cook dinner for us sometime. Looking forward to hearing you and your bro’s collaboration!

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 4, 2017

      Thanks, Phillip! I’m thinking either me or my brother ought to take singing lessons one of these days, though … 😉

  4. Ilona Elliott
    August 4, 2017

    I always feel the same when I go back east. I didn’t go much for years, but now I try to make it every year for quality time with my family and friends still in touch. It does feel strange to be in my world, but it’s not. Always feel just a teeny bit like an outsider, which is sobering. Glad you and Mom had real quality face time Kevin. Something you will never regret doing! And how fun that you got to hang out and jam with your brother! Must have been a highlight of your trip.

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 4, 2017

      It’s kind of a complicated array of feelings, isn’t it? You’re not up on the latest news, you have no idea who the mayor is, one of your favorite old movie theaters got razed to make way for a Jiffy Lube, and on and on. Home is where the heart is.

      My bro and I had a great time. He’s a much better rock player than me, so I sat back in amazement a lot of the time.

      • Ilona Elliott
        August 4, 2017

        Yes. My family is in different cities in the state we were raised in, and my hometown doesn’t feel much like home now.

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