Google Maps (3731 Chili Ave, Rochester NY 14624)

Google Maps has a new feature.
You can look up an
address and look back in time.
One of those addresses that are embedded
in your brain.
From writing the address
time after time
on envelope that would magically fly
across the country
to that first love.

I don’t know what drew me
to play with Google maps
I opened it to the whole U.S.
and then drilled down.
First to Grampa’s
old house on the St Lawrence.
Well, the spot where it used to be
for it is gone as is Grampa
and all those times from –
Oh, my God!  I just realized it
was 50 years ago.  Fifty years ago
was my magical summer,
the summer of 1964
and you.

Ah, but I interrupted myself
with the knowledge that it
was 50 years.  Damn.
No that is not strong enough.
Gosh Almighty damn.
How can that be?

I don’t know but the address is just as clear.

3731 Chili Ave
Rochester NY 14624

See it just pops out
belying the years.
But then I wrote it hundreds
and hundreds of times
over all the years.

And through the magic
of Google Maps, and a click
on Street View.  There it was.
Your old house
just like I remembered.
The creek still runs behind it
but I couldn’t find the little bridge
where we shared our first kiss.
What magic.  We were 15.
No, that is not right
for it was not quite my birthday.
You were 15 and I was a month shy.

Ah, but again I digress
for this was about Google Maps.

I noticed a little clock icon
and clicked on it.
Up popped a timeline. 
It showed where you could click
and see the same view
from years past.
Of course, it did not go back
to 1964, but I wanted it to.
Lord, lord, I wanted it to.

Just for a peek.  I know
we can’t go back, but
how I’d love a little peek
of you and I standing
against that garage door
or back by the Black Creek
behind your house.

Even without the peek
I can feel the soft touch of your lips
and that warm glow in your eyes.
I feel your hand in mine
and hear you laugh
at some stupid thing I said
in my attempts to be cool,
to be funny, to be something
special to you as you were to me.

My God you were beautiful
and grew even more so
through the years. 

I just looked at the Google Map
control to turn back the years.
It only goes to 2007.  Not near
back far enough.  Not near far enough.
Why should such a silly thought
bring such pain?
I want to throw a tantrum,
drumming my feet on the floor
as I lay on my back screaming
I want to go back.  I want to go back.

I have had wonderful times,
wonderful years, wonderful summers,
but none like that one.  The Beatles
were singing.  My first love held my hand
and her warm breath was against my neck.
Coming of age and filled with adult emotions.

50 years ago.
My favorite summer was 50 years ago.
My best summer was 50 years ago.
And Google Maps won’t take me home.

Michael Mathews
near a rumor of home
July 28, 2014
10:07 PM Monday
In the RV on Lake O’ the Pines
Miles, years, and a lifetime away

January 29, 2020 – I printed this and sent mailed it to that house and whoever lives there.