This is what happens when I allow myself to recall my childhood:
I was floating on the ceiling, again. I didn’t know how, but I felt sure that this was not the first time I’d been up, above, before. In the quiet, in the calm. The racket of shouting was gone, and so was the smell of anger, and fear.
Back up against the corner of that doorway, I’d seen the hand that reached down for me, the one that had hauled me up the last two steps as I had wearily climbed the stair case, wondering what I had done, or more likely, my step-sib had done, to provoke this latest round of rage. I had realized that somehow, in some unthinking way, my question had managed to escape my guard, sliding through my teeth like the rattling of the wind in the windows, like the rattling of my jaw now, as it took yet another blow. That weariness merely grew heavier. Finally, I thought, finally, maybe I will be able to rest. If Dad takes me to the hospital, like he said he would if this happened, if I was in a bloody mess, maybe I could just stay there, and rest.
Then, I saw the railing. I noticed it because I knew that I had never seen it from quite that angle before. We were studying angles in geometry, and I’d started to enjoy it, when I could get into the library, alone, unbothered by anyone else. The pictures stuck with me, those beautiful lines, joined together, at different angles. Not like this one, where the wood had long since lost its polish, and it wasn’t even quite joined at the right angle to fit the walk around the hallway. But it was quiet, up here. No yelling, no feeling every slap to my face, the hard wood of the door jamb pressing into my back. No smell of hatred in front of me, and smoke from the other room. It was peaceful, up here. Nothing to feel, nothing to see, but the back of a head, and my head, moving back and forth in that odd way, giving with each slap of that large hand, while the other held my body up against the doorway. None of that seemed real, below, as I floated up above it all.
“…pitch you down the stairs.”
Pitch? What does that mean? Throw, right? Down the stairs. Wait, what stairs? I looked, really looked, as if opening my eyes for the first time in weeks, and then I got it.
The vice grip that was holding me up by the back of my neck, even though I was down on my knees, or was it one knee, I couldn’t tell, from the pressure on my back, pushed my head down. In sudden and live color, there was the carpet, of the landing below. Not the hall, not the railing, a floor, way below. The landing of the stairs, with every single step between me and that landing below. And the pressure of that huge heavy hand, pushing me toward it, into the void. But just then, the void seemed to beckon.
“If I go, I’m going to take you with me.”
Would I ever dare to say that out loud? Maybe it would be the last thing I’d ever say, if I said it out loud.
1.) Share two different sources to learn about your local library system’s funding,
2.) Please tell us where your information comes from, and how you know that the sources you found are reliable,
3.) Write a book, story, blog post or tweet that uses them.
4.) Do you think that Project Do Better’s Phase IV (described in chapters 5 and 10 of the book) might help?
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