I Still Know That House
When I was a kid …
and oh how I do shirk from that phrase. My mother used it whenever she set herself on a pedestal, but anyway
when I was a kid I lived in a house
at the end of a close, which is like
a cul-de-sac, or a U-bend in a pipe,
in which case my house was on the straight end of the pipe nearest the outside wall.
At the top end of the pipe, lived
a professor and his daughter. Her
name was Gracia. Mum said Gracia
was too bright for her own good,
and no man would ever marry her.
Dad said the girl was all brains
but lacked an ounce of sense.
But we were friends anyway.
Gracia dialled telephone numbers, forgetting to remove the receiver from the cradle of the phone. Dad said Gracia was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Next door was my friend, Kathy.
We were friends even though our
mothers were friends, and also
because we were both below
average students. Dad said,
Idiots attract idiots. My dad
said a lot of idiotic things.
Enough said about that.
Next door to Kathy was Greg.
He was smart, and had nothing
to do with Kathy and me. His
father sold fish at the market.
Mum said Greg’s dad ran off
with another woman, and left
Greg and his mum all alone
to survive on tinned fish and
a few pennies.
Out of curiosity, I just Googled his name. He died a few years ago.
Next door to Greg, was Cindy.
She was a beauty queen. She
sparkled like every name of light.
Cindy just was Cindy. One day she
left home with a big suitcase in
each hand. She never came back.
Nobody thought to put roller-wheels on suitcases back then, back when I was a kid.
Next door to Cindy was Tim.
He was a bit younger than me.
He’d hide in the bushes at night,
looking through binoculars at me
as I undressed. Nobody knew Tim’s
dad, including Tim.
My dad gave Tim a tongue lashing one night, and then took away his binoculars. Tim’s mum asked for them back the next day. Dad told her off, too.
Next door to Tim was our house.
Even in the dark, I knew where
every wall switch was located.
I still remember which steps
creaked when I sneaked home
late at night. I still recall how to
turn on the hot water tap so
the pipes didn’t rattle and shake.
I still know that house inside out.
Funny thing about dyslexia. Somethings I can do; somethings I’ll never be able to do; anything visual or tactile sticks with me like glue.
Written for GoDogGo Café Week Three “Great Reads” prompt with book titles. This one is taken from “Names of Light” by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, in which I’ve included the phrase in the text. Image is The Farmhouse, Ravello colour M.C. Escher 1931. ©Misky 2022 Shared with #amwriting #apoemaday on Twitter. #GreatReadsPromptChallenge
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