BOLT HOLE

“Bolt·hole: noun. A place where a person can escape and hide: a safe or restful place: a place where you can hide or escape from something that is dangerous or unpleasant. Chiefly British. First known use, circa 1851”

2 fig027

The first time I heard the term, bolt hole, was in a Sherlock Holmes movie, an older one with Jeremy Brett. Sherlock had procured a “bolt hole”, a place known only to him, from where he could do his ingenious detecting in absolute secret. In his case, it was a room in the depths of seedy London. In my case, it’s anywhere my location isn’t commonly known. A place where no one will come to find me, interrupt me, or know what I do with my stolen time.

That’s how I think of it: stolen time. Time snatched from work, home, schedule, protocol, and public display. I don’t know why I consider it a crime: I just do.

Back to the bolt hole. I have actually imagined what it would be like to go someplace and rent a room that no one in the whole wide world knew existed. A tiny bit of an alternate life. What would I do there? Be quiet, regroup, sleep? Write. I’d never go through with it though. Maybe I’ll live it vicariously through a character in a book.

2 No-place-to-hide

There is an element of danger in the bolt hole. If I died, had a heart attack, fell down and couldn’t get up, who would fine me? No one would know where to look. It would be frightening to be wounded and know no one would come. And it’s unthinkable to put my family through the pain. It’s not them I’m trying to escape from. It’s me.

Yes, I’m the one who makes the rules like a demented schoolmarm, then plays the guilt through my head whenever I don’t live up. All the self-love therapy, all the Al-Anon meetings haven’t rid me of those deep seated (and arbitrary) laws of my existence.

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So I find an occasional handy bolt hole, run inside and lock the door. Then I try to remember what I would be doing if I weren’t doing what I thought I should be doing. Maybe nothing at all.

Сat eyes

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About Mollie Hunt

I am the crazy cat lady, animal shelter volunteer, Trekkie, and mystery writer. I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest and will watch any TV show or movie filmed here. Even though I am of a goodly age (sixty-something) I go to Star Trek conventions in costume and am not afraid to be by myself. I enjoy my life in the cat lane. Words to live by: Spay and neuter; Live long and prosper; Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
This entry was posted in memoir, mental illness, Secret Soul and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to BOLT HOLE

  1. Pingback: Depression, Bolt Holes, Superwoman Syndrome, Bulimia, Therapy: Mental Health Monday | A Way With Words

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