Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Old writings and more old writings

Being alone

Sometimes I miss it so badly it is a knife in there under my ribs, jab, jab, jab. It seems crazy that in the end I only really lived out on the property for 10 years before the name tagging of the clothes and the regimentation and the rules. Before the shared showers, public undressing and horrid realisaton that privacy was something that didn't exist in my world. Boarding school.

I saw the pride in my mother's eyes when she delivered me that day, up the wide red stairs and into my allocated room. Orange chenille bedspread and black iron framed bed, squeaky enough to wake me when I moved in my sleep. I wanted to scream and hold her and never let her go but she seemed so excited for me, so happy to be giving me something she had missed out on. So I kept my face still and brave and we said our goodbyes, a cool peck on the cheek because hugging wasn't something that our family knew how to do. I stood there after she left, I opened my new cupboard to admire my shoes. Plastic fake cork platforms with red green and yellow straps, I had pastel striped bobby socks to match, I straightened them and retied the buckes on my shoes, my head inside my cupboard so the other girls would not see and then I licked my fingertips to place over my eyes and cool them. No-one would know about my tears. I was ten.

I found a place eventually, sitting on the top shelf of the change room at the pool where I could almost be alone. I used to climb up there and hide my tuckshop money before I went swimming, I lost a 2cent piece there once, I went back so often but even with all the poking and prodding, all I ever did was push that 2 cent piece further and further along the top of the concrete blocks until finally it fell down the hollow core of the wall. I lay there and imagined what other children had found that spot and what other treasures might be hiding in that hollow echoing core.

Being alone. I never really knew what it was until I didn't have it anymore.