Writing from a place of privilege makes thoughts less likely to trip over wooden fences and cement walls. My feet swooned and collapsed over uneventful ground, though I was quite privileged. My entire childhood was settled in a warm big home on a big wide street. The street was an avenue really and she was named Lexington. Pimping at Lexington’s end–a crinkly aged oak purported to have umbrella’d over George W. and Lafayette’s teatime. This was our park. Weekend baseballs often grappled with the onslaught of giant wormholes, while feisty games played out until streetlights lit and we were permitted to return home. I had no problem dispensing words on common days where mornings began in blue knee socks. But the weathered fences around George’s park didn’t stay put, too often splintering posts stabbed at my heart.
In my weening brown eyes, the kindnesses sloshed about in fairytales–after dispatching evil queens–never materialized. Pink gowns for slim-hipped beauties smelling of peppermint and ice did not leap off Golden Book pages. You were what they said. You were what you thought you heard. Childhood is funny that way. Unforgiving as Alcatraz and equally as grey in the right light. This is where words in warm big homes carve into pages. Small bulky diaries with delicate keys fitting the tiniest of holes to safe keep any words that might ooze out fence holes. My kid wrote deep and direly intense–you must hear my wet bleeding. We bleed out without wounds and our translucent scars are deeper. Look over the roofs inlaid with Santa’s sleighs, you might hear the tears suffocating in our stained pillows.
I did not lack anything I needed. I had bright shoes and a zither, a purple stingray bike and rollerskates. There was a radio in our car and televisions in all the important rooms. I had stuffed animals on my Grandma Patchwork bedspread and budgies in a birdcage. There were piano lessons and religious instruction and pancake Sundays with nana and papa. Pasta flowed weekly and Speed Racer made me want to drive. My high school car was white and my graduation cap was red. All items at the right time. My parents were beautiful.
So with all this, why did I feel unworthy of a glittery childhood. Walls made of tree fences surrounded my world for too long. And why today, do my words still trip while writing from a place of privilege.