I really hate this room right now. I'm not going to say "my room"
because everything that made it mine is gone now, packed into neat little
boxes. The blank white walls are stark and barren, free of any emotion, any
feeling, any signs of life. Aside from the cluttered bed in the
middle of the room, it is the very picture of banality. It took me ages
to finally arrange this room the way I wanted, to make it mine. But it
only took a few hours to tear all the pictures off of the walls, all the
essays, all the mementos. Hundreds of
memories, falling from the walls... Now I have no where to go, no private place to hide from the incessant noise of change.
I should back up a bit. My parents have decided to do some remolding in our
home. We are going to have the walls redone, the ceiling painted,
get some trim, put in new doors, and remove the carpeting in almost every room.
That's all well and good, but for three weeks, we have no living space other
than the kitchen and bathrooms, which won't be altered, because there will be
people working in our rooms—tearing up the walls, and floors, spreading plaster
all over everything, leaving the
smell of mold and wet and damp, and also paint hanging thickly in the air. So
today I had to move all my clothes out of the closet, and pack the sum of my material wealth into identical cardboard
boxes. Nearly everything I own is out of reach, sealed within these cardboard monstrosities for the next
I’ve realized why I hate cleaning my room so much. It reminds me of all the
things I’d rather forget about myself: how sloppy I am, how disorganized I can
be; I find all the things I’ve forgotten; I realize how few of my things I use;
in the end the room is barren and I feel like a fool. I found all the books that I never got around to reading.
But what really got to me was taking all the papers off of the walls. I never
realized how much those silly scraps of paper meant to me. An essay about my
grandmother and her pecan caramel rolls. Letters from my brother, proof that he
loves me. The two drawings I’m actually proud of. A postcard from Reed College.
A few of my best literature essays. The drawing I’ve seen and loved so many
times I take it for granted, a gift from my greatest friend. Now all these
brightly colored pieces of paper are stowed away in a dark drawer, waiting to
be graced by the gentle embrace of the sun. In the meantime the hollow room
echoes strangely, a diluted white shadow of its former self.
It’s going to be a long three weeks.