Sunday, April 01, 2007

Deep, Dark 2

Night view from hotel pier

This is my second version of deep, dark, (this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt), the one which does not refer to secrets except perhaps as a childlike metaphor. The first draft I wrote was about secrets and my profession and I wasn’t sure if I should post it. I didn’t reveal anything confidential but I’m learning that when I get too “shrinky” my posts may distress a few people.
During my childhood, we moved frequently. I calculated once, I had around 16 homes in my first 16 years. I wasn’t a military child, but my parents divorced when I was 6 and there was a bit of downward mobility afterward as well as the inevitable weekend and holiday visitation with my father, the non-custodial parent.
There was one house we lived in that had a special meaning for me. It was the house we owned from when I was around 4 or 5 years old until after my parents divorced and my mother sold the house and moved us to the first of many apartments. This house was built on the side of a hill at the base of a deep ravine. We literally could look up and see a bridge passing overhead far above us. The hill was so steep that both the ground floor and the basement had full length windows on one side.
Our house had a grass yard, a vegetable garden (there is a picture of me and my father next to some gigantic sunflowers), and a stream in the back. I spent hours wading in the stream, attempting to dam it, exploring up and downstream. There was a deeper bit that passed through pipes under the road. I think I went through the pipes a few times but I was scared of the crawfish in the deeper parts. Some kid once told me that they would bite my toes off.
The hillside above our house was forested and had a cave that we called the “bat cave.” It was a small, dirt cave leading into the hill. This cave fascinated me, of course. I had been warned never to enter it due to the risk of cave-ins. This time, as many times later in life, my good sense overcame my spirit of adventure and I never did go in. I’ll never know now what treasure it contained or if bats did indeed roost there. It probably was a dirty, stinky hole that didn’t lead anywhere but in my memory it leads to a part of my past that will never be forgotten.
I miss that house. I’ve driven the bridge over the ravine a number of times since I’ve been an adult but I haven’t yet taken the side roads to see if it is still there. Perhaps it is the deep, dark cave I am not allowed to enter. But I hold out hope that one day I will knock on someone’s door and say, I used to live here back in the 1960’s. I hope they will give me a tour. Perhaps I’ll check out the bat cave too. If that is still there, there probably wasn’t much risk of cave-in after all.

5 comments:

tarakuanyin said...

Too "shrinky"? Darn. Now I'm curious. I want to read some of those shrinky posts, especially the deep dark secret one...!

Crafty Green Poet said...

the bat cave is a great metaphor for so much as well as being literally something that you'll never know the truth of. Fascinating....

meredith said...

I like this post, but my curiosity is also peaked at the mention of shrinky posts ...

Rethabile said...

Nice post. Enjoyed it. You must go back to that house you liked to remove some of the mystery.

sarala said...

Ok now I posted the shrinky one too.