Why I sleep with my bedroom door shut.
My parents divorced when I was eight years old. They had just purchased a house together in the woods in Walker, Louisiana, which is twenty or so miles from Baton Rouge. After seeing his subsequent relationships, I realize that this is something my father does when his marriage is rocky- he sells his house and then buys or builds a new one for the sake of distraction. I’ve actually seen it work for him. Once engaged in a new project and excited by the possibilities, his wife might forget to ask why he was out so late, who he was with, and why he smells like another woman’s perfume. But this time, his trick didn’t work. My mother had had enough. I don’t even think we lived in that house in the woods for a full year before my mother suggested he go stay with his whore instead.
I wasn’t terribly upset by this. My father and I had never been close. He was a no-nonsense high school coach, and I was bookish and skinny and weird. Far from the athlete he’d wanted. Though, to be fair, he didn’t try to push me into sports or pressure me to follow football. Instead, he ignored me entirely in favor of my little brother, Trent, who seemed like he was born with a ball in his hand. Trent didn’t play one sport, he played all of them, starting when he was merely a toddler. I never resented either of them for this, I merely mention it to help paint a picture of my brother. If Trent and I had been one person, we’d be a very well-rounded individual. Me, precocious and dreamy and even-tempered. Trent, sporty and rough and emotional, living up very well to the reputation that came with his bright red hair even when he was still in diapers. You couldn’t have two more opposite children. But we loved each other fiercely, particularly in the early years of our parents’ divorce. Though there were three bedrooms in this house in the woods, Trent and I shared one, not wanting to be separated.