I used to lay between the stereo and the papasan chair with the massive Panasonic headphones covering my ears. Knees bent, lower back flat against the rust orange carpet. There was no pile. I slept on the floor because I could, because it was summer, and because the cord from the headphones wouldn't stretch to the twin bed. The bed was 20 years old and I was 13 going on 14. I listened to In Through The Out Door, Music for the Masses, Magical Mystery Tour. I was in doubt about everything. I was just learning that my family was fundamentally different from what a family is supposed to be and trying to fit my teenaged self into that situation as easily as I possibly could. Days were long and spent vertical. On my feet I thought about changes that were taking place inside of my head and that were supposed to be taking place within my body. I avoided my parents and ran with my sisters, sometimes with them, sometimes we chased each other and nipped viciously. Other times we spent defending each other, never hesitating to yell in protest of some nonsensical decree from my father. The house rules fluctuated daily, and we were subject to any mood swings that might rise out of either parent. Nights were mine, I could think for myself, not listen to anyone else. Nights were where I cultivated my dark circles, laid down and stretched out, and let my mind wander.

Things didn't make sense, and wouldn't for at least 10 years. I still stretch out on my back and listen to Blue Jay Way to clear out and focus on what's going on. My parents never organized their lives, and they frantically tried to play house for 20 years with living children. Perhaps they shouldn't have gotten horizontal, but I doubt they had their lives in mind when they did.