The Whelk – John Leavitt

April 13, 2010


Filed under: Scenes From Nonexistent Novels — John Leavitt @ 11:29 pm

During a brief time in my childhood I lived in a cut up old Victorian in Port Reading NJ. One house, three families. We had the highest floor and due to the cutting up, it had some strange features. You had to go up a flight of stairs, down a hallway, and up another flight to get to our apartment, the kitchen was super-tiny and had a twisting shared staircase down to the basement, and there was this odd little foyer separating our apartment from the hallway. A set of double doors with a shallow coat closet.

So that’s the scene. now I’m like …8 or something and pottering around the house cause I beat Zelda like 3 or 10 times already and I’d read all my books and I’m just wandering out looking for something to momentarily fascinate me when I come to this coat closet. I start rummaging around when I see some light at the bottom. Faint light, but it’s there. Feeling around, it looks like the wall of the closet doesn’t hit the floor. In fact the “wall” is just some painted balsa-wood or something. I can feel the nails and then, cause again I was bored, I grab a hammer and start removing them.

Pop! Pop! Pop! I drag a chair in to get the top ones. Pop! Pop! Pop! The false wall falls back and nearly knocks me off my chair. I look up and there is

a staircase.

Now, since like half the books I had already read were mystery books, I basically EXPLODED. I run UP that motherfucker and find the unused finished attic. It was clearly supposed to be a studio apartment or something at one point, but I guess they couldn’t sell it as such so they just covered it up, which explains the odd foyer before our apartment and the shallow closet. I am ….overjoyed. It’s a SECRET ROOM that is MINE cause I FOUND IT and I don’t wanna share a room with Ryan and FINDERS KEEPERS. I move a mattress up there, my B&W TV and my NES, and all my books.Maybe there was more things! Another secret passageway or staircase! Like in CLUE!

Then I find out the reason why the attic apartment was sealed up. There were only three small windows, and in the summer it would reach pass-out temperatures. Also, the local fire siren? The big air-raid one? Level with those windows. After Cat decided that peeing in random corners of the attic was the most fun thing ever, I pretty much stopped using it as a room and it slowly reverted to a catch-all pile of Christmas decorations and clothes we are totally going to donate to goodwill someday. But for one brief lazy afternoon, I actually got to be a Daring Boy Adventurer without being kidnapped by bandits or ghosts. Suck on that Coraline!
posted by The Whelk at 12:37 PM on April 10 [8 favorites +] [!]


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