Places I’ve Slept

 Assateague IslandI slept in my mother’s womb. I slept in King Daughter’s Hospital. On South Woodlawn Avenue. On Ivaloe Street when we visited Aunt Irma and later when we moved into the green-shingled house next door to her. She kept rabbits in her back yard and her son Billy Mackey took me for rides on his motorcycle. But I digress. I slept in DePaul Hospital when I had my tonsils out and in Norfolk General when I had my appendix out.  I slept on Jackson Street in South Norfolk in the back room of Aunt Gladys’ apartment over the bowling alley – across from the firehouse where her husband Johnny worked. I slept many nights in the little house on Pungo Creek. I could see the creek from my bedroom window. My bed was closest to the window.  My sister’s was closest to the door. When Daddy ran away from Pungo Creek, we followed him to Avon on the Outer Banks and then to Fairmont Park where he was living with Old Man Midget in a two story house. We stayed upstairs. Mama cleaned the house Midget. In exchange, he let us live there for free. We were living in that house when I got my period for the first time. That was the day I jumped off the front porch and a needle went through my foot. Mama couldn’t get the needle out so she took me to the emergency room on the bus. I got my period while I was sitting on the examination table. Again, I digress. I slept on Trice Terrace when we lived in Ingleside. That was a second floor apartment. I shared a room with my sister. The apartment came furnished. I slept in another second floor apartment on Azalea Gardens Road. Sounds prettier than it was and it wasn’t furnished. I slept on the nalgahyde couch in Aunt Gladys’ living room on Norcova Drive. That was the same couch I stretched out on to watch the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I slept in my own bedroom on Sharp Street in the only house mama and daddy ever actually owned. They paid $5000 for the house. My bedroom was all white. I slept in Aunt Gladys’ house on Robert Street in Jupiter, Florida when I spent the summer with her. Later she moved to Flamingo Road and later to Paradise Point Road. I loved those summers in Florida. I slept in Tyler Dorm at Radford, In Chandler Dorm at William and Mary and later in the Phi Mu House. This is where it gets fuzzy. In no particular order, I slept at the Hotel Roanoke during the Young Democrat Convention, several apartments in Williamsburg with men I thought I loved at the time and on Lake Matoka (on a dare.) I slept in a trailer in Indiantown, the back of a truck at a rock festival, a field, a group house in Athens, Georgia and an apartment in Macon. I slept in Montrose Park, a church yard and a group house in Washington DC. I slept in a VW Van from DC to Denver. I slept in the Zodiac Coffee House. I slept in a TR3 waiting for the sun to come up in San Francisco. I slept in a commune in Embudo and a Hospital in Taos. I slept in motels in Biloxi and Perry on my way back to Aunt Gladys house. I slept in the Flagler Apartments in West Palm Beach before Steve and I rented an apartment over Mercedes Gomez’ garage on New York Avenue. I slept on Bruce Street in Arlandria when we moved to Virginia so Steve could stand trial for draft evasion. That’s where we were living when we got married. There was no honeymoon, but his dad bought us a pizza to celebrate. I slept in Arlington Towers with two husbands. That’s where Steve and I were living when he left me, and it is where I met my second husband who had a photo studio on the first floor. I slept on Benton Street in Glover Park until I left Mark and moved into a basement apartment on Q Street. That’s where I was sleeping when I met my third husband. We moved from the Q Street apartment to an apartment on 39thStreet in Glover Park and later to our own house in Holmes Run Acres in Virginia – where I still sleep when I am not sleeping in our other house on the Bay or our camper or our boat or in one of the places we travel – like the house on the Outer Banks or the Villa in Veneto.   Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island, the little lodge on Molokai, Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, Conquistador in Puerto Rico. Granville Island, Taos, Seattle, Frankfurt, Rome, Sueno Azul in Costa Rica, Montreal, Ottawa, Venice, Vancouver Island, Capri, Lisbon, Sedona, Newport Beach, Big Sur, Sun Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Rhinebeck, Key West, Saratoga Springs, New York City, Peterborough, Seville, Barcelona, Chicago, Lasquite Island, Minneapolis, Orlando, Toronto, Bimini, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Chattanooga , Bodega Bay– and on numerous planes, trains and automobiles traveling to all those places.


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Filed under Breadcrumbs, Nonfiction, Revelatory

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