My home at age 12 – a time in life I hated, yet I currently look back on fondly.
I’m an only child, and my real dad started leaving us way before 12, so it was just me and mom. The house was small and red-bricked with a circular stained-glass window in the front. It had a long hallway that, when we moved in when I was two, I yelled down to hear the echo. ~EH!~ When i got older, we swapped the carpeting for hardwood floors, and I could slide down the hallway. There was a little phone alcove in the middle of the hallway, and we stacked phone books under the telephone there. When I was talking with my friends, I unwound the cord pulling it so far to my room.
We had a basement – it was finished on one side, unfinished on the other and cool on both. I would sit on the finished side, watch 21 Jump Street, and fold laundry. Especially in the summertime. The AC – which was robin’s egg blue, of all colors – didn’t work very well, and during a thunder storm, we had to turn it off. Sometimes days passed without it on. Just fans.
The yard was big. I had mowed, crawled on, made snow angels on it – I knew that yard. Each tree. I knew them all. Climbed a few. Bushy overgrowth in the backyard became monsters and spaceships and a clubhouse for one. Mulberry bushes. At 12 years old, I kept my 10-speed on the side of the house. The street was short and boring – no other kids.
It was in a bad neighborhood, but situated in a great part of the city. And I could ride to all of those parts. Moreover, I had the time to imagine and be outside, and I miss that so much.