Isn't it funny how some memories fade as we grow older, while others continue to grow stronger as the years go by?
Let me illustrate.
They tell me I was a bit of a trouble-maker growing up. But in my defense, as a child of an artist, rules are meant to be broken. We used to visit my grandparent's old house on the edge of town every Sunday. I've written about those visits often. There were three of us kids- my brother, my cousin and myself. The Three Amigos. I was the oldest and therefore the ringleader. We would run like wild animals through the woods to the north, and though we were warned not to, we'd climb to the tops of the huge pine trees that grew there, sap sticking to our hands like burnt caramel. They tell me I once fell from one of those trees. I have a long scar on my right forearm to prove it. But I don't remember.
There was a loft in that old house, 16 feet above the living room. Building codes didn't exist when the house was built, and the banisters were placed just far enough apart for a child to easily fall through. The three of us would hang like monkeys from the banisters and swing to the winding staircase below. They tell me that my cousin once broke her arm in an ill-fated swing from too far away. But I don't remember.
Just past that treacherous staircase, at the end of a dimly lit hall, stood a closed door. I knew I shouldn't, but when my grandmother was busy in the kitchen (which she always was) and my grandfather was working in the garden (which he always was), I would creep down that hall, quiet as a mouse, crack open that door and slip inside...