Writing 101, Day Eleven: Size Matters
Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve.
For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.
there was a rock and it was big. soft sand in color and rounded smooth from centuries of on-again—off-again gale-force winds pummeling its surface with dirt, sand, rain, sleet, and snow, it rested solemnly in the center of what looked to be an empty lot. houses existed on all sides of the lot. there was a red brick 3-story across the street with green shutters and faux-wood texture that either the current or previous owners thought would nicely the windows for optimal curb appeal.
there was no house on my lot. just the rock was there, but aluminum sided houses were on both side of us. they were two-storied homes but because my side of the street sloped upward from the opposite side, those on my left and right appeared higher, taller, and more stately, even with the faded off-white metal siding that my mother called egg-shell color. my side of the street also faced north, which meant that the raising and setting sun cast shadows from my neighbors’ houses for most of the day; my lot seemed to receive direct sunlight only during the noon-hour and a few moments on either side of 12 o’clock. behind us, the homes were much the same as those around us on the front, take a good look from my sidewalk, close your eyes and do an about-face, the street behind us held pretty much the same view.
there was no house on my lot and getting into, and out of, my home was a challenge i simply accepted as a natural fact of life for us. helping to bring in the groceries was never easy since we had to use the ladder every time. packages of toilet paper and paper towels were my favorites to bring in because i just dropped them into the hole and let them fall into the darkness since mom never remembered to turn on the little lamp at the bottom before we left.
there was no house on my lot but we still had a floor plan. a spacious living-room, kitchen, pantry, laundry room… we had all that. my bedroom was large and it was my sanctuary. at 12 years-old, my walls were covered with posters of football teams – i loved the cowboys then, farrah fawcett – i loved her then, and psychedelic images drawn with neon colors that made no sense – i had a black light then. there were no windows in our home which meant that i never had to wait for night-time to enjoy my ‘stoner art’. my mother called it that and i remember being terribly confused. i had told her that my friends all had black-light posters similar to my own and she, half-accusingly and half-jokingly, asked me if i was stoned. “of course i’m stoned mom, we all are.” i had said, “we’re the only one’s in the neighborhood that are, as far as i can tell anyway.” she shook her head and i shook mine. clearly neither of us understood the other.
i remember one time walking to a convenience store for a soda. i hardly went to this particular store even though it was close by. it was summer and i missed my bike. i used to lean it against the rock at the end of the day. mom had to run an errand one evening and she tripped over it on her way out, however, and she got angry and took it away for a 3 days. i was supposed to chain it to one of the trees at the back-end of our lot as a matter of parental policy but i found that my way was easier and seldom did anyone ever mess with it. so as i was walking to the store, scotty simms rode up to me on his bike and asked where i was headed. i told him and he laughed, “that place was demolished three weeks ago, where have you been living… under a rock?”
“yes.” i said.
there was no house on my lot; just the rock was there. we lived under it.