For some unknown reason, I kept a cheap purple ballpoint pen on the windowsill of one of the dormer windows in my childhood bedroom. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night, walked across that gloriously ugly country blue carpet, and sat on the tv stand Mama helped me turn into a window seat. I would look out over our cul-de-sac into the still, silent, air. I still remember every detail of the scene before me – like how one particularly thick tree branch looked to me like it was being hugged by a baby bear cub or how quiet the world seemed. It was my midnight place for thinking and dreaming and praying. I made up stories set in that nighttime world. When the occasional car passed on the main street, I imagined where it was going and where it had been. Sometimes I hugged my fuzzy Limited Too smiley face pillow close and almost fell asleep sitting there. Before too long, I always picked up that purple pen with the clip bent in an L-shape from my fiddling and started coloring around the black eyes of that smiley face pillow. I didn’t know why I did that small act of vandalism at the time. Now, I think I was just coloring in a small part of my world. It was my story to write. All the details were up to me on those sleepless nights. I held the pen. My imagination held the stories. It was my place to create. I wish my imagination still worked like that. I miss that smiley face pillow.