Daily Prompt: One-Way


I never talk about where I grew up, or how I grew up, here. I never talk about me, not in the straight forward, genuine way I do verbally, to people who are surprised that I don’t have much of a filter, or sheepish awkward shame around the facts of my life.

I grew up in a neighborhood that had houses with yards. We weren’t allowed to play in ours, as we lived on a very busy street. Cars zipped back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

A mere six blocks away, we went to daycare in the home of a woman of small stature who had round cheeks. She was like another grandmother to me (once, she met my Nana. They talked about cooking. That was all). Her street was much quieter, save for the residents of that block, and the occasional ice cream truck. We ran in the yard surrounding her house, we rode around the block on bikes. We sometimes were naughty and rode across the street, or through the alley, which would occasionally cause problems for the cars that came in and out, back and forth. In and out of tiny driveways and ramshackle garages, back and forth down the too-narrow alley.

We lived, for a while, on and off, in a house with no soul. It was also in the same neighborhood, with a front and back yard, and a narrow alley. The traffic here did not go back and forth, but we did. We went back and forth, and in and out. We killed time here. It wasn’t wasted, because to waste time means you have an abundance, and you enjoy that feeling of excess. We didn’t want more time, not there, so we slaughtered every second when we were finished with it. Don’t come back.

Too many times, we did. We were like the cars we’d see, zipping ahead with no awareness of the fact that they were wrong, going the wrong way, and too fast.

Eventually, we didn’t. Eventually, thankfully, we were just like the traffic in front of that house. One-way.


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