I just finished reading a romance novel that happened in Ireland and I want to go now. Well, I wanted to go before, actually. I want to see everywhere (that has plumbing).
I had a lot to say before I sat down to write, but now I lost it all. I know! I'll share more homework with you!
If I were a room, I would be . . .
My bedroom is my safe place, my alone time, my sanctuary, my temple. It is mostly because of the bolt-lock. The door sits uneven in the crooked doorframe; even if the ancient handle still had its skeleton key, the door wouldn’t lock. When we moved in, the first thing I did was install that lock. I have the only key. No one enters but me.
Then there’s the bed. It sits nestled up against the wall with its warm beige duvet cover and just-right pillows. I don’t like the windows. I covered them with aluminum foil and shades. I want to have complete control in this space; I’ll decide when it should be light or dark. And the carpet. I bought that carpet and dragged it up the stairs. My bare feet are the first to touch it. The color is tropical punch, but it looks like grey with secret bits of pink and teal.
Cheap wood paneling bows away from one wall, revealing hideous 1970’s flowered wallpaper in the crevices. But the paneling is a nice, warm color that matches my little chest. My great-grandfather made the chest. There is a picture of him taped under the lid, with a note for my mother reading, “Hi Red, take care of this for me” in slanted script. The chest is full of extra blankets and pillows, things that are warm and soft and smell of fabric softener and lumber.
And my little bedside lamp. I can turn off the lights from the safety of my bed. There is a TV over there, but its pushed into the corner and covered in dust. It mostly serves as a place to set my tissues. The closet is big enough for my dresser to fit inside. There are poles to hang my clothes on the right and left sides, with the dresser there in front of me. On the left, between the clothes and the floor is the perfect place to sit in the darkness and cry.
Hanging over the bed are those pictures I bought in China in those frames I bought at Wal-Mart. The one in the middle is my favorite: the one with the Chinese characters carved into the bamboo and the long hallway with doorway after doorway after doorway. Things I can’t read. An end I cannot see. But mostly, the memory hanging there on the wall, reminding me how it felt to miss home.
On the opposite wall, my name in pictures. Impossible things like dolphins kissing over a sunset, rainbows, and lighthouses make the letters of my name. The “J” is a lighthouse next to a sweeping cliff, the waters leap up against the brush-stoked rocks. Turmoil. Beauty. Meaning. Painted by that Asian man at the Pork Festival last summer.
I didn’t mention the fuzzy rug. It rests at the side of the bed, the alarm-clock side. The alarm clock isn’t pleasant to hear, but the first moment of my feet touching the ground is that soft, fuzzy rug that reaches up between my toes and tickles the tops of my feet. It had to be white.
But the most important thing is the bolt-lock, that cold, metal thing.