July 27, 1957 Saturday
I was five.
I was standing next to the head of a twin bed tucked sideways under the eaves on a wooden-floored landing at the top of the stairs. Mommy was closing a green suitcase laid on the bedspread. I was watching glistening motes floating in light beams above a large open book on a tall dark pedestal. Facing a long narrow window. Old yellowed paper shade rolled up. String hanging down. Ring on the end. Sheer white curtains pulled to each side.
Slowly sliding my fingers across smooth gilded edges. Reaching the middle. Marker hanging down. Touching the wide faded red ribbon leaving traces in dust. Book pages too high to see even when I stood on my toes.
Mother snapped the suitcase shut. Clack. Clack. Walking behind me. Past me. She called. “Come right now!” I turned. Left hand along the wooden bannister rail. My shoes. Clop. Clap. Clop. I followed her down the stairs and out my grandma’s front door.
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