memory, 5 years old. i am sincerely afraid of being kidnapped in my sleep. i insist on precautionary measures: door about a foot ajar, hallway light on, windows closed.
but in the eventuality, i must be prepared. after they've put me to bed, i slip on 3 pairs of panties under my nightie. i've hidden them there under my pillow. between each layer of cotton hanes her way i place 2 photos. one, my best friend L and I in matching dresses that my mum sewed. the other, my family outside our house, dad has a mustache, mom still has some brown in her hair, ben is wearing a white sweatshirt and i a bathing suit and black rubber boots. now when they've taken me away at least i'll have clean underwear and the people i love.
some weeks later mom discovers my new custom. she insists that i will not be kidnapped, and that i not wear panties to sleep. i must "let it air out down there at night." i comply as long as the door to my room is kept even more ajar and they promise to keep their ears open incase i scream.
now, i am struck by the simplicity of the few things i needed: clean underwear, a friend and my family.