Monday, November 14, 2011


It's raining hard tonight. The noise on our flat roof is loud and sounds like it is a very treacherous storm. It seems like today would be a good day for building a fort. An inside fort. I don't know why I think this, because I only had outside forts when I was a child.

The first outside fort was in the woods in my backyard. It wasn't really a fort, rather a clearing in the woods that we called our fort. It was an oval shape with some old pieces of cement block that we used as chairs. It had a bathroom, rather a hole in the ground about three inches deep. The bathroom was only to be used by boys. I didn't really know why, but I didn't question it since I didn't really want to go to the bathroom out there anyway.

One day, the fort disappeared. The boys had been in the woods and reported there were flags everywhere. Someone had invaded. And soon, all the trees were gone and so was our oval fort with a men's room.

The next time I made a fort was at my cousin's house. We split into pairs and ran into the woods as if it were a fort building competition. The fort I made with my cousin was probably the worst of the three. Not so much a fort as a circle of sticks standing upright in the ground. The boys made a teepee. The other girls used a fallen log as a base. So much creativity. Fort building creativity. Fort building creativity that I lack.

I wanted to be good at building forts because I wanted to have my own space. Our house had too many people, too many voices, too much noise. I wanted to be able to sit by myself. I wanted secrets. And I wanted quiet.

My poor fort making abilities meant I had none of this.

Tonight, I sit in my quiet fortress of a home, as usual, wishing for what I don't have: my people, their voices, and the noise that means we are all safe at home together.

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