Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Our Lonesome Place (Option #4)
(Picture courtesy of Google Images)
The tarnished red, white and blue of the Confederate flag hauntingly danced in the wind as both my younger sister and I ran hand in hand to our little neighbor friend's house down the street. As a young child, I was raised in the Buckeye state, otherwise known as Ohio. My family and I lived in a smaller suburban city on the outskirts of the capital city of Columbus. Our abode consisted of a tan brick house daintily enveloped by an array of exotic flowers and plants. If one would take the winding path out of our cul-de-sac and then make two lefts, one would arrive on the doorstep of our young, beloved friend. Although the end destination was that of bliss, the journey there was one that caused great trepidation to a seven and nine-year-old. There stood a house that belonged to man with tan weathered skin who could always be found chewing on a toothpick. His lawn was overgrown with shrubbery and sticks. There always seemed to be an overcast above his house, for the sun seemed muted above his land. It was a known fact that he did not like minorities. He felt that colored blood tainted the American soil. Before when we had walked past his house, the man had spat at me. However, he never quite knew what to with my sister because she had fairer skin than I with beautiful hazel almost green eyes. Even when he was not on his lawn or sitting on the bed of his truck, we could sense his presence. Dusk, dawn, or day we felt him there even if we couldn't see him. Whenever we approached his house we ran holding hands but never on his sidewalk but in the street, fore this was our lonesome place.
Although I never really scared easily as a young child, I definitely relate to the two boys in August Derleth's “The Lonesome Place.” The book states, “Half a block long, black as black could be, dark as the deepest night, with the shadows of the trees making it a solid place of darkness”(Derleth 192). The walk to my sister and my friend's house seemed as such, a dark, formidable journey. Like the boys we were afraid to discuss this with our parents in fear that they would not believe us. Even as we got older like the characters of the book, we didn't linger by the man's house because of our childhood experience. Luckily, unlike the book, there were no casualties.
Derleth, August. “The Lonesome Place.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996. 191-98. Print.