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.