Liz and I were home alone on Thursday evenings while Dad and Donna played volleyball at the school. For and hour and a half we had the house to ourselves. We cranked up the stereo that we weren’t supposed to touch and tried to dance like go-go girls. We pounded on the piano. We ran down the stairs and took flying leaps onto the back of Dad’s swivel rocker, knocking it flat on its back. I’d don Dad’s gorilla mask and scare Liz. Every time.
One Thursday evening we played Hide and Seek. I hid in my bedroom closet and waited for Liz to come find me so I could scare her. I waited, but she didn’t come. She must still be looking downstairs. I stayed put, determined to gorilla Liz.
Waiting was boring. There were pens in my closet which gave me the brilliant idea to write on the inside of my closet door.
It was a party in there. The hippies in my closet penned groovy free love messages and the horny teenaged boys scrawled scandalous invitations. Timothy Leary was in there. All my many girlfriends were in there; lots of popular girls and party girls and we all wrote like we were high. We wrote knowing that no one would ever see it.
Liz had not come looking for me. She was not about to get gorilla-d. Again.
Flash forward about 30 years.
I’m at work, looking over an application and see that the applicant lives in my childhood home. I make the mistake of revealing that.
“Oh! Are you the one who wrote inside the closet doors?”
Oh, the shame! I should’ve pretended I knew nothing about it, but he would’ve known, the way my jaw dropped. I could feel myself turning red.