The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman


the ocean at the end of the lane

Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a cramped adult closet, but they are never lost for good.

‘Can’t drink the water from the sea, can you too salty. Like drinking life’s blood.’

I saw it and felt oddly proud of myself, as if that one act of memory had blown away some of the cobwebs of the day.

You have to look at things closely to see the electrons. They’re the little dinky ones that look like tiny smiles. The neutrons are the grey ones that look like frowns. The electrons were all a bit too smiley for 1912, so then I checked the sides of the letters and the old King’s head, and everything was a tad too crispy and sharp.

‘That’s the trouble with living things. Don’t last very long. Kittens one day, old cats the next. And then just memories. And the memories fade and blend and smudge together…’

The ball of fur pressed itself into my chest, and I wished she was my kitten, and knew that she was not.


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