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A little triangle place under the stairs that had a bookcase shoved up against it. I piled a ton of blankets in there and hung one over the opening and read books by flashlight.
The bushes in Montclair park, which I think were junipers and definitely had little child-sized pockets all over the place that were ideal for hidings.
Those circular clothing racks they used to have (still have?) at Nordstrom's and Macy's and Mervyn's, in the center of which was a nice empty child-sized space. My mother hated this; she lost me in department stores all the time.
Closet. It had a light.
It got me through the aftermath of an abortion and a friend who stopped being my friend because she couldn't handle my choice.
It got me through months of depression, being on antidepressants for the first time in my life.
It got me through the fears and anxieties of my first long-term relationship, which has lasted as long as the Toast has, and is the joy of my life.
And Toasties came with me on a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome, which I will always remember as one of the best adventures of my life.
When I was small I used to sit under the lemon tree in our backyard, which was very low to the ground and made a canopy overhead, and I'd read books and look up through the leaves pretend there were fairies. That under the lemon tree was a magic land where everyone understood me and we all laughed at the same things and agreed that mean people were mean and should be made to go away forever.
I wanted a place like this all my life. And for three years, I had it.
Thank you, Nicole and Mallory and Nicole and every single Toastie. It was magnificent.
Matt is either lying his face off OR totally got kicked out of Wharton, is what I'm saying.
Thank you, Hey Ladies, for all the baffling riddles you have given us. You will be missed.