I had a tough time writing today, but I finally squeezed something out with only 15 minutes left before midnight. We do what we can!
We went on warm afternoons, after the sun had soaked the earth with heat. If you placed your hand on the clay ceiling you could feel it seeping through between stiffened roots. The roots were like an old man’s five-o-clock shadow—short, crisp, and prickly ticklish.
A plank wood door was hinged to a frame cut into a small hill. A simple door, there wasn’t even a knob, but it served a purpose. It felt like a home.
We lived there for brief moments—on sunny summer afternoons, or for a quick hour after school. It was our life on a parallel timeline, occupied by virtue of that little earth-bermed home. Not the future or the past, but another of our possibilities. I think the best one.
In that dusty, barren hut I wasn’t trapped by agoraphobic parents. I wasn’t failing Math. I didn’t have a very sick little sister who, contrary to my parents, would cease to live should she go outside. You didn’t have a drunk father. You didn’t have an older brother. You didn’t have to go to church.
We had a tremendous life there. We moved in stools and a trunk, and filled the trunk with food and secrets and used it as a table. We played cards and talked for hours. We had our first cigarettes, beers, and kisses.
When you moved away, I didn’t know what to do. I went to our home, but you weren’t there. I sat inside and thought I didn’t lose him; nothing happened. I waited to see if my desperation would conjure you. The sun grew old and sank down in dejection beneath the hills, and I watched our little home fall dark, the portal to our life slowly irising shut.