everything— the child says. Meaning, every story from the past, that drafty old mansion whose damp corridors she never walked but whose general outline she glimpses like a shape tissued in fog. Now it is a ruin, of course. Sometimes, at dinner or driving somewhere in the car, parts surface— The alcove where I lay on a high bed, sheets up to my neck; the sewing room where the mothers sat with pins in their mouths and thimbles on their fingers. Rooms filled with cigar smoke and trays of highball glasses, amber-colored liquid that burned my curious throat when I crept out of my room to see what grownups did after I'd gone to bed. I know what she wants, because I want it too— every keyhole through which I might squint, every shade shielding the bulbs that flickered a certain way in the corners; every broom closet a hiding place, every tiled bathroom wall against which a girl could be thrust and made to press her outline. Every pull cord to flood these spaces with indelible light.