The first thing I remember about my father is his loud and infectious laugh, I remember how he would burst out with his loud voice in almost incontrollable laughter which would fill in the space.
I remember how it was terrifying when he wasn’t feeling humorous… I always thought it was fascinating this is the only memory I have about this time we spent together.
I remember the intense smell of grass and the harsh sensations it made me feel on my skin. I remember the butterflies bigger than anything I’ve ever seen. I remember how I was running in this wildly thick meadow elated with excitement and thrill. I remember I went too deep into the grass chasing the colourful butterflies.
It is as if it happened yesterday how I felt the iron lock on my forearm, and I looked up to see my father not smiling. I remember how he didn’t say a word and led me back to the camp.
I remember the fear I felt from his unspoken words, I remember the thrill and excitement disappeared and the dread replaced its place. I remember how I waited for the punishment to come, but it never did.
I remember how we burnt potatoes in the charcoal of the barbeque. I remember how they were delicious, and I wanted more.
I remember the Russian kid.. until this moment I don’t know if he was a boy or a girl with his cropped hair and shorts.
I remember how my father’s loud snore didn’t let me fall asleep for a long time at nights. I remember how I was the only person awake in the entire camp site and I could hear the water streaming behind our tent.
I remember that water stream was the place I washed my face in the morning, and how it jolted me up fully awake. I remember how the water was crystal clear, the stream running down all the way from the mountains. I remember how I didn’t like washing my face.
Somehow, I do not remember the way back home, nor do I remember how we gathered our things, how we got back on the busses. I don’t recall any moments of the long drive, change of transport. I don’t remember at all whether we stopped for bathroom breaks, did we eat anything on the way back? No, I do not have those memories.
But I remember my father! Strong, menacing, confident…