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  • I’ve lived in my house in Cherry Hill for 20 years. That is longer than I lived in the house where I was born. I left 5407 Stanton Ave. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to go to the Christian Brothers Novitiate in Ammendale, Maryland. I was not quite 20 years old. I had lived my whole lifetime in that house. Twenty years now is just a small part of my lifetime. ..but Pittsburgh is still my home town, a whole life it seems was spent there. Cherry Hill seems to be just one more stop along the way.

    In these twenty years my front door key, the key to a lock I, myself, installed, has become smooth and well worn. Each time I use my key to unlock the front door, at 500 Deer Road, I feel the satin surface of this brass house key my fingers have polished so well in twenty years. Each time my fingers remember another key that felt like this. It was my father’s house key. It was the only key I remember that was so worn and smooth. How I longed for him to toss me his key as we approached the houseso I could use his key to unlock the door for him. Other kid’s Dad did that. It seemed like a big people’s thing to be able, to be allowed, to use the father’s key to unlock the door to the house.

    Those days, so many things felt to me like big people’s things. My father rarely had me to do these things; he did them himself. I used to envy other kids whose fathers would hand them the house key as they approached home saying, “Here, you could open the door.” I felt on those occasions my Dad didn’t trust me to do “big” person’s things as other kids’ Dads did. Now I realize he probably never gave it all a thought. I never asked him, either.

    My fingers remember the well worn surface of his house key. There was no other key like it. So many memories are triggered by sensual experiences like this. With these memories comes a flood of feelings from the past – the feelings of that little boy lost in a world of adults.
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