My favorite hiding place was under the front porch of the bungalow on 60th Court where I was brought to live after being born. It’s been nearly 30 years, 15 moves since living there and I still remember the address, phone number, yellow rotary dial phone stuck to the yellow and black tiled wall in the hallway between the kitchen and dining room, opposite the one and only bathroom in the 3-bedroom home.
And, of course, I remember my secret hiding place under the front porch.
It was my own private little space, my own little club—a club for sad little girls whose parents were divorcing, whose brother and sister (especially) hated her, whose life was crumbling down—that I didn’t really discover until only a couple years before moving. Until it started calling out to me as I walked aimlessly around outside just to get away from the people inside.
It was dark and musty under there. And empty and lonely.
It was the perfect place for me to hide out and stash my secret box, which included pen and paper, pictures, a lighter.
One of the pictures was that of my whole family with my sister’s face scratched out.
She hated me—my sister. So I scratched her face off in the photo. At least I didn’t burn it with the lighter, right?
No, my mom did that.
She burned the photo and doused it out with water from the kitchen sink when my sister found the damn picture in MY space, MY box, MY club.
We never really did get along. Not before then, certainly not after. It was like she was in this elusive club that she wouldn’t allow me part of or something.
And people wonder why I’m “one and done.”