Six of us lived in a one bedroom walk up gratefully situated on the first floor of a five story red brick building. There were two graceful entrances to the left and right of the main courtyard surrounded by well tended shrubbery.
In our one bedroom there was a double bed plus two singles side by side against the wall, facing outwards so that all of our feet directly faced each other. The two single beds pushed together were mine and the middle sister's. The double bed on the opposite side facing ours was occupied by my eldest sister, Georgette, and my mother.
My bed was closest the window and Harriet's bed was pushed alongside mine, the heads pushed against the wall. There was only a few feet of space left to walk between the four beds. I spent a lot of time in bed. That was where I did my homework, read for hours and dreamed away the hours.
My favorite part of weekends and mostly all I looked forward to was the ability to stay late in bed gazing at the sky. If my sisters came in or my mother I would climb on the window sill behind the curtain where they could not watch me and I could imagine I was alone with my dreams of clouds constructing lives of gods and goddesses while I instructed them on how to play nice with one another to have a good time.
I never did fit it with anybody, especially in first through third grades. Children made fun of me. A girl name Ruth told me she and her friend were going to get dressed up and have a lollipop party and everyone was invited. Did I want to go? I looked in Ruth’s face feeling suspicious of their niceness I felt trapped but didn’t know why. I nodded yes. “Sucker,” they yelled gleefully laughing hysterically, whilst staring into each others eyes, they danced away arm in arm. I stared after them.