daily life color103 (1)

Corners are the great equalizer, for it is a fact that no matter how large or small the house, every corner is exactly the same size. I remember being so small that I could fit all the way into a corner, right up to where it bent. If I was facing the wall, I could hold my head straight and fit my tongue into the crack that spread out in an L to form the two sides of the corner. If I faced outwards, I felt less punished and more ready to branch out from the corner into the kitchen, perhaps, with the refrigerator to be visited and a cherry popsicle to be collected on my way out into the world of my house.

Lying on my back on the purple living room rug––a floor that, although it extended to each corner of the room, had no actual corners itself. No chance of punishment. Facing downwards on the rug was entertainment: playing jacks or putting together a picture puzzle, moving paper dolls around their world of Kleenex box furniture, pot and pan swimming pools and matchbox coffee tables. In this paper universe were treasures purloined from the jewelry boxes of our mothers. Rhinestone bracelets became flapper necklaces and ruby-colored rings bangle bracelets. A folding fan stretched from side-to-side of the corner became the dressing room where Debra Paget donned her dressing gown, slipping out of her red paper high heels.

In the corner of my sister’s closet was the little cave I’d carved out of the shoe boxes and cardboard boxes of cast-off toys. There I’d wait for her to arrive home with friends in tow, to eavesdrop on their conversations in hopes of finding out who the boy was who had called her on the phone and hung up without identifying himself when he asked if she was there and I’d said no, she was out on a date. I might discover what she was going to give me for my birthday or hear any of the interesting secrets shared by girls four years my senior. But instead, it was the corner I fell asleep in, to wake up hours later when my mother called us down to supper.

“Where’s Judy?” I heard her ask my sister from the bottom of the stairs.

“She’s not up here,” I heard my sister answer as she went hop skipping down the stairs, two at a time. Even after I heard the door close at the bottom of the stairs, I stayed quietly where I was, barely breathing.

Five minutes later, I heard my sister clomping up the stairs again—looking in every room, the bathroom, under beds, in every closet except her own—I guess because she knew I couldn’t be there since she’d been in her own room for the hour before supper. I stayed quiet, giggling inside.

After my sister went downstairs,  I sneaked quietly out into the hall and down the stairs in my stocking feet, then creaked open the door and went running around the corner into the kitchen and dinette to take my usual place at the table—on the bench against the wall.

“Where were you?” my sister asked, “You weren’t anywhere!”

“It’s a secret!” I answered, and to this day, my whereabouts that day are an unsolved family mystery.

“Where was she?” They ask each other. Then, “Where were you?” they ask me again, but try as they may, no one has ever cornered me to give an answer.

Didn’t follow the daily prompt today as I’ve written about this one a couple of times, but here it is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/strike-a-chord/


17 thoughts on “Uncornered

    1. lifelessons Post author

      No, but now I have to look him up. Do you mean he photographed Salvador Dali in his own home? I loved the fishing village he lived in (Cadaques) and spent days there at two different times…His museum in Figueres was a hoot as well!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks so much for once again educating me! You open up my world, Mark. Loved the portraits and indeed, Salvador Dali’s was taken in a different “corner” than the rest. He filled up his corner, as did Martha Graham. i loved Gypsy Rose Lee. Which was your favorite?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Scandalous love. | The Hempstead Man

  2. barbwit

    This brings back all kinds of memories. Secret hiding places. The cellar in one house in Rye. Not to mention the rented house in Kent with its stored summer things up under the roof. Forbidden pleasures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Ah yes. All our sins are eventually revealed–for sure with writers. But, that aspect of this story was fiction, although characters and settings were real. Can’t believe a word I say, can you, Calen???? (I never hid in my sister’s closet to spy on her and I never told her boyfriend she was out on a date with another guy. There are some depths I wouldn’t stoop to, even as a child. Nor did I try to smother my grandmother. Phew…that is a relief to know, isn’t it??? All those unrealized and unacted-upon dark sides suddenly popping out.



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