Prompt: Directions to where you live, from a different time or place using people, landmarks, memories, emotions.
Jessie remembers being afraid to bathe in that room. Walls painted black, for reasons beyond her comprehension. With a tiny window – pointless, in her opinion, as it didn’t let in enough light to illuminate the room. Every day, water was collected from a pipe in the yard to fill the enormous plastic basin in the blackroom.
Some months back, a frog jumped onto her calf driving her out the room, screaming and soaking wet, into her grandmother’s arms. Another time, a centipede casually strolled out the blackroom as she was about to enter. Ever since then, Jessie would fling the door open and stand at the entrance, waiting … Giving the creepy crawlies a chance to exit – This was her routine. At five-years-old, bathtime is a torturous event.
Searching my backpack one morning, my mother found the love letter I’d written to Mike. She locking me in the closet. I didn’t go to school that day. Laid bare. Gone was the expectation of privacy – listening to my phone calls, searching through my stuff when I went to school. Depending on the find, punishing me when I returned home …
In high school, she found a few erotic novels on the top shelf of my closet, behind my sweaters. I thought I’d hidden them well. I should have known better. Mom overreacted – Throwing out all my books, giving away all my shoes, ‘cept for the ones on my feet, putting my favourite clothes in bags and hiding them somewhere in the house. Mom took me to church – I needed prayer. Sex was evil, and so was I.
Feature Photo Credit: @Faybie via Twenty20