Saturday, May 14, 2011
A couple of lifetimes ago we lived in an old house with an outside loo, it was way down a very long yard past all the trees and vines, way down among the long dark shadows and hidden spider webs. Of course you had to be really busting to use it after dark…desperate!
Going to that toilet after dark was one of my greatest fears as a very young boy, and one of my earliest memories.
By the back door hung dads old WW2 army coat, ankle length on an adult and made of leather it weighed a ton and dragged on the ground behind me as I struggled to carry it. But it made me feel safe.
Full of fear I’d look out into the swaying shadows and howling winds, full of fear I’d take the heavy coat from its place right next to the door and drop it over me, the thick collar sitting on my head, the broad shoulders enormous over my small body.
Then out the door I’d go, no longer scared because nothing could get me under dads coat, I’d weave my way around the shadows and under the spider webs to the loo and back.
I could barely push the coat off my head and up onto its hook then slide out from under it without it falling and pushing me to the ground.
Even now the smell of leather brings back those memories, that musty, earthy smell of leather that I find so comforting. I’d love to own that coat, I’d love to have it hanging on a hook by my back door…just to remind me, you understand!