Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Bigger Than We Were part 2
In the summers we stayed in a two story cabin/camp-house that was buried off the side of the road in the woods. It never occurred to us that our grandparents were trying to kill us. In fact although we occasionally talked about "the man with the ax" we were rarely scared. I think of it now and I know I could never walk down that dirt road by myself at night in the pitch black, the kind of black where you don't see anything until you bump into it. But we did then. I remember pockets of cold air, like in a lake, and our signal call to each other. We memorized the road with our bare feet, which side had fewer rocks and where the divots were. We walked quietly in single file, once in a while snapping a green branch into the face of the person behind us. My aunt and uncle stayed there with us, but we rarely saw them unless it was raining and we spent the entire day inside together. Mostly it felt like we were on our own. We needed grownups to feed us and take us to the beach, but everything else we managed. We drove a VW bug from our grandparents' house to the camp, sometimes straight through uncleared green stalks until it would get stuck and then we'd leave it there like a wet sneaker. When we needed it again, we'd spend an entire day trying to figure how to get it started. Sometimes we just needed gas. It's weird to think about how much we were alone, how we didn't feel unsafe, how we jumped out of trees and threw rocks and fixed the engine in a car when at least three of us still peed the bed at night.