Stephan

Prompt: Didn’t mind

doorknockers

I didn’t mind when they told me to stay at home. I was used to being at home. It was my home, after all.

But they wanted to control who came and went from my home. My friend Hilary was not allowed to come to the porch with her dog, Printz, ring the doorbell, and be admitted. 

They didn’t tell me why not. 

Yet my friend Ramone was permitted to climb the stairs to my front door with his dog, James. He could come inside and have a lunch of boiled eggs and tomatoes for lunch, while James slept by the fire. We could talk about books, religion, football, and art.

Thomas and his dog Purkin could turn up unannouced and join me for a meal of ham and potatoes. We talked about music, cookery, football, and the environment. 

I was not allowed to keep a dog at my home.

Juliana, with her dog Chaucer, called on me every Thursday at 4 o’clock, and we indulged in chocolate cake and Lapsang souchong tea, and reenacted great moments from women’s sufferage. That meant taking our cake and tea via a feeding tube.

One day a woman with glasses rang the doorbell of my home, and when I opened the door she told me I was adopting a young child.

The child turned out to be a boy named Stephan and we did not share a common language. We were unable to communicate until we developed our own sign language which involved not just the hands but also our legs and feet.

Stephan played on the carpet with James, Purkin, and Chaucer when they visited my home. During the historical women’s suffrage enactments, Stephan played the part of Everett P. Wheeler.

When Stephan turned nineteen, he married a woman named Katherine, who had a dog called India. Katherine and India were not allowed to visit me in my home.

I minded that Stephan’s wife and dog could not come to my front door, ring the doorbell, and be admitted for she-crab soup and a glass of wine. 

So when I opened the door to the woman with the glasses I brought her into my home and kept her. We communicated via Stephan sign language, since I refused to let her hear the sound of my voice.

Her name was also Hilary.

 

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