Wednesday, January 04, 2006

In my room

Sunday night I shut off the light and unerringly found my way to the bed. Even with the lights off, I knew exactly what my childhood bedroom looked like.

The first bed in that room was one that my dad and grandfather built just for me. Tall and white, with primary colored accents (for my feminist mom), it was mine until I was 8 and it was time to get a new one so my sister could sleep in mine. It was the daybed I chose then, white with bronze trim, that I curled into that night as I thought about my bedroom.

The walls were yellow until 10 years ago. It would probably surprise some people to find out that I painted my room pink at 16, when most people were painting their rooms to get away from pink. I remember picking the wallpaper that covers two of the walls—spending hot summer afternoons in the air-conditioned cool of the paint store, pouring over many books of wallpaper samples, doing my best to picture each sample in my room. I finally settled on a pattern that I continue to think of as casual contemporary—abstract flowers that pick up the pink on the facing walls.

I know I’m spoiled. Most of my friends discovered their rooms had been taken over for sewing or guests when they returned home for their first visit after starting college. My best friend’s room has already been redecorated once in her absence. Four years after I moved into my own place for the first time, somehow I still expected that space would always be mine.

Laying in that bed, I started to cry as I looked ahead to my job on Monday—going through my books, papers and clothes that I’ve left in that room. To also help make room for my sister, my bed was going to be taken apart so that it could start a new life as the guest bed at my house. After I finished mourning the upcoming changes, I rolled over and burrowed my face into the soft dry flannel under my cheek. I reached out and curled one finger around the frame of the bed before I drifted off to sleep, hoping to tether myself in the moment and steel myself against the upcoming changes.

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At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I can so very much relate to this emotion. My childhood room was sold out from under me when my parents decided to move to a different state during the first year of my married life.

I was devastated at the loss then, and sometimes think I'm not quite over it still.


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