“The Slide”

“It was a slide. The biggest slide I had ever known. It towered above the ground, above my three-, five-, six-year-old self like a mountain. The slide was wide — my sisters and I could all slide at once. There were no rails — the slide dropped off over the sides unlike any slide in America (a country so obsessed with safety).

The slide was white, and painted with little flowers and things. The slide was made of concrete — my pants would get hot as I slid, the friction wearing down the fabric. The slide was built on a small green space, behind my grandmother’s house in Rosh Ha’ayin — a strange monument to childhood afternoons.

The slide had a secret — a door built on the side, locked and unadorned.

I slid for summer after summer, many small pairs of pants offered up in sacrifice.

Years later, a young man, I made my way back to that place, looking for the structure that had brought so much joy.

I stand in that space and look — I can’t find the slide. Only a bomb shelter.”

– From an unplanned freewrite, unedited. Thanks to Elana Bell for creating the space.


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