scintilla – childhood room.

it’s a room on the second floor of a condo in backwoods florida. it was mine for almost four years.

i’ve got a twin trundle bed and this would be convenient if i had friends that were to come and sleep over, but i don’t. i write about this in a diary that i lock away in the desk drawer, a diary i read later that breaks my heart and i think, “was i always broken? was this in my blood?” and i never find the answers to those questions. eventually, i learn to let them go.

it’s a large desk, and it has a hutch with three or four levels of shelves. there’s a mother goose doll – she’s huge, and her body is hard, not like a regular stuffed animal. when you put a cassette in her side, she speaks the story or song. you’re meant to play stories, but i think it’s funny to put in songs, like my tape of “a whole new world”. later, i’ll have a radio with a cd player, and i’ll listen to janet jackson sitting crosslegged on the rug. i’ll shut the door, not quite understanding why i shouldn’t let grown ups hear me listen to these songs, but knowing there is something illicit about them.

i have my own door to the balcony. i play games where you stand below and let a balloon go, and i catch it. i play games where i let a balloon go, and run inside the house and up the stairs and out the balcony door as fast as i can to catch it. i don’t win these games often.

i have two walk-in closets, which seems incredibly luxurious now. one of them is filled with my things, and one of them with things that are mostly not mine. in the one with the things that are mostly not mine, there is a mobile. i spent the years staring at it – it was bright, it had a smiling sun and a rainbow with smiling clouds at each end, smiling stars and a smiling moon. the entire thing was a burst of smiles and color, and i would stare at it and sob, and i could never, never understand why something so happy inspired such sadness in me. i rearrange it, i take it down, put it up, i move it around and always, in every position, it makes me cry.

i left this room before my ninth birthday but i can still feel its carpet under my fingers, my feet, if i think hard enough.

19 thoughts on “scintilla – childhood room.

  1. I want to hug the younger version of you and let her know that the sadness does dissipate and things do get better. Look at you now – I hope you can see the difference. This was beautiful and poignant, Dominique. One of your best.

  2. I have said it before and will say again, that I will in the front of the line to buy your book. Also I am proud to have shared a futon with such a talented friend of mine, though it was years later.

      1. Of course I am! Since it was a “xanga”! I am just a terrible commenter, but I’m up to date on all the posts! ^_^

    1. you know, i didn’t mean for it to be sad and i see how it is to some – but it doesn’t make me feel that way either. thank you for your kind words, julie.

  3. Another beautiful post, you really put me in the room. I love the balloon catching, I imagine I would have done the same thing if I had had a place like this.

  4. Wow. The utter heartache that can overwhelm a child is gut-wrenching. But your balloon game… so sweet. I remember doing something similar off our deck with my cousin. Thanks for reminding me.

  5. I said this on someone else’s post – a girl’s room is so special, a real refuge during the rough times of being young. And that balloon game sounds amazing.

  6. You write things that make me wonder if it wasn’t woven somewhere in the fabric that we meet. I would have been your friend…I think I would have noticed the same things in your eyes that hide sometimes in mine. Plus, I’ve always thought trundle beds were trés cool.

    1. i actually think this about you, too, so perhaps it is exactly the case. and i appreciate your friendship in the current era 🙂

  7. There’s so much left unsaid here, so many spaces between your words. It’s intriguing and enticing. I want to know about the spaces. I want to know if you know about them, if they’re conscious, deliberate, or are they waiting for you to remember what goes in them.

    This hurt in such a real way. I love your words.

    1. it was so long ago – i left this room before i was 9 – that the spaces might be natural, just how we forget. i could tell different stories about this room, and this came out sadder than i intended, but…it is what came out.

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