Growing up, I did what a lot of teenagers do as they’re becoming their own people. I spent a lot of nights closed behind my bedroom door with whatever CD I was currently obsessed with playing on repeat in my stereo. Green Day. Lifehouse. Pearl Jam. I sprawled across the hardwood floor on my belly, writing in my journal, or I lay on my back in bed, my phone to my ear until I finally hung up and went to bed. Problems ran through my head like water. Do I really want to be dating him? Is she really my friend? Just who is it that I want to be??? Decisions were monumental, huge, distracting back then. And I think that’s something that most people can relate to, as they look back on their teenage years. When you’re finding yourself and growing into your own person, there’s a whole lot about yourself that you really just don’t know is there until you find it.
When I think about how long it takes to really know how our own minds tick, I feel like it’s probably not often that we truly glimpse the real insides of others. Some of us are lucky enough to have families, close friends, people whom we really know, but as a people, I think that we tend to keep a lot of mystery about ourselves. It’s part of what makes being a person so interesting. How come his eyes look so sad? I wonder if she’s having a bad day? Maybe he just can’t seem to figure out his place in the world, where he should sleep at night and what halls he should walk through in the afternoons. And maybe she left her fiancé the night before, starting out fresh as an independent woman, but she just can’t find her composure so soon without him. Their stories could be here or there, and one of my favorite things about writing is that we can make them wherever we want them to be. We can feel in our own hearts what’s troubling our hero or walk alongside our struggling lady, and in doing so we’ve opened all of the doors that so often remain closed in real life.
With Behind Closed Doors, our stories and poems explore a broad range of the secrets and mysteries that are a part of what makes us all human. We hope that in reading our collection, even a small door in the world may be opened for you, whether it’s an identification with a character or just a fondness for the way that a single sentence is written.
I would like to thank all of the other editors at Halfway Down the Stairs for their hard work and contributions to Behind Closed Doors. We thank our guest authors for their wonderful submissions, and we thank all of you for reading our work and making Halfway Down the Stairs what it is. We’re pleased to announce that we will be switching to quarterly publications from this point forward, with our next issue, The Outsider, to be published in June, 2010. Please see our submissions page for guidelines.
— Carrie Bachler, Fiction Editor
© 2010, Carrie Bachler