Since I live in my head--have been for the past 34 years--I know the place pretty well.
It's cluttered, colorful, and occasionally scary. Things fly in and out at blazing speeds. Oh, and the stairs creek at night, it can get drafty in the winter, but mostly it's a cool and comfortable place to be.
I really became aware of my tendency to escape from the world into the old noggin when I turned 10. It was the summer of 1982 and my family and I left the trailer court to move across the river into an old rented house next to a Clark gas station. It was me, my sibs, Mommatee, Grandma and my Aunt Deanna (we called her Aunt Dee-animal then because she was kind of a bitch and we were little assholes, and well, it was funny.) To my absolute delight, it was just a three block walk from the public library and that summer I just about moved in.
The library had air conditioning--we did too until the first electric bill came--and this amazing little spot called the geneaology room that was crammed with old books, pictures and other tidbits on the area's local history. Located in the basement level off the children's library, there was this musty, ancient book smell that would hit you like a wall when you walked in. I love that smell. (To this day if I pick up an old book at a thrift shop, it is not unusual for me to sit at home and stick my face in it and take a big ass whiff. But it's not a sexual thing in case any of my perv readers are wondering.)
The day I turned 10 I went to the library with my cousin and kind of sat there. I remember looking around and being all like, "Wow, so this is 10," and just taking it in. I kind of got that I might be a bit more introspective than most 10 year old girls, and considering at that point my only friends were this insane curly haired girl I met one day while she and her cousin were yelling "SPICK!" at me from across the street*, and my stupid brother, it's understandable that I wanted to retreat to my fantasy world where I was an only child and both my parents were doctors.
Anyways (Angie's favorite word when she's too lazy to write a suitable transition and wants to get a beer and maybe have a cigarette--hey for effect, imagine a heavy sigh and then me blurting out, "Anyways.") you can probably guess that 24 years later, I'm even more nuts. But in a good way, right? RIGHT?
That's what thought.
*This is actually a somewhat funny story. I was leaving the grocery store and walking home when I heard these girls yelling "SPICK! SPICK!" from across the street. Since I'm half Mexican and was raised by my white mother, I never really thought of myself of anything other than white. So I start looking around for some Mexicans, and then it hit me like a truckload of illegal aliens.
It was me who was the spick.
And don't worry, fate has gotten even with Little Miss Racial Epithet.