The Writing 101’s Day 11 challenge is to write about where you lived when you were twelve. I’ve covered the age of twelve, and revisiting my childhood home, in other posts, but this one is different. As I began thinking about my old house, lots of things came back to me, and I’ve tried to capture a few of them here.
When I was twelve, I lived in a two-story red house on the corner of Pine Street and Main. The local Pioneer was across the street to the north, and we had a huge back yard. At least, I thought it was huge. Then again, I thought the house was huge, too. Trees filled the yard, and flower beds existed in various states of decay. They weren’t the only things in that state.
If I close my eyes, I can still see the white linoleum that was always dirty near the front door and the peeling wallpaper of the dining room. I can still see the sun glaring off the screen of our old RCA TV (’80s vintage, of course). I can still see the colorful patchwork of carpet hidden by all the crap that littered my room and the kitten posters on my seafoam green bedroom walls.
My mom hated that color – she wanted me to pick something a shade darker, but I loved it. It was better than the ugly shade of blue that matched my parents’ bedroom, and a heck of a lot better than the Pepto Bismol pink that my sister had chosen for her room. Of course, she also wanted me to play the clarinet because then we wouldn’t have to buy a new instrument when I started band. I wanted to play the flute, and I was ecstatic when my teacher placed me in the flute section.
I’ve written about this house before, and how upon returning once with Miss Tadpole, I found it so much smaller than I remembered it being, even though I was 17 when I left that house, so it’s not like I was looking at it through the eyes of a small child, to whom everything seems big. Though I remember it smelling of stale smoke and garbage, I remember the happier times, too. But that was before my mom died and the light left the place.
When I was twelve, I was still reeling from losing my mom two years before. I fought with my sister worse than ever (we’d never gotten along well), and she moved in with my grandparents that year. My dad drank himself into a stupor each day, and I’d come home from school to find him passed out at his desk. The stench of shit from when he’d been too late to the toilet permeated everything.
My friends were always there, though, and without them, it would have felt so much worse. Many of them considered my house their second home, and I said the same of theirs. Thanks to them, there was never a dull moment, especially as we got older. Twelve might have been a rough year for me, but who said life was supposed to be easy?
I am a product of my experiences, and the experiences I had at the age of twelve taught me that time is short, so I should make the most of the time I’ve got. Still, there were some fun times that year, and I made some pretty great memories with some pretty great people.
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