When my mother was about eight or nine, my uncle, eight years older, was supposed to be watching her. He wanted to see his girlfriend Pam, who lived on Andrews Air Force Base. Having no qualms about shirking his babysitting duties, he promised her 5 packs of SweeTarts from the 7-11 down the street – a bribe he knew would be effective as it was my mother’s favorite candy – if she would agree to stay in the house by herself.
She gave in to the SweeTarts. He left and was gone for a long time.
My mother, growing increasingly scared, formed a plan that would defend her from attacks of any origination. She stood between the front door and the outside screen with one hand on each knob. Her thinking was if an intruder somehow materialized inside the house she would leap outside and shut him in; if someone attempted to attack from the outside, she had her hand on the screen and could quickly slam it closed. All fronts were covered.