At 17, I had, newly ensconced in the small room, envied the big room. But rent was divided up by size and I could at that time only afford small.
Don't exactly remember exactly when 'we' moved into the big room. It was ours for a while and then as things changed, mine.
I don't remember when I moved back into the small room. It was definitely years, maybe decades later. The big room became someone's bedroom for a while. I was in a new 'we' which lived in the small room.
Roommates came and went and lived in small rooms and the big room and then small rooms, a constant parade of different sized shoes.
Finally, one day the big room was empty. And very few roommates remained.
It became a quiet parlor room, filled with plants and soft green walls. It was like that for a long time. Until that 'we' suddenly stopped.
The green walls became a prison. They told and retold every lie of that 'we'. A friend helped pick out new colors, soft blue and creamy yellow and bright, bright white, that opened up the walls and expanded light and joy back into my world.
However, when the yellow can was opened... a bottle of tequila for the painters and a hastily bought can of white brought that creamy yellow onto the walls.
The room finally became itself, unfolding into a quiet place to write, to pray, to laugh, to have wonderful cake and tea. Plants that could withstand neglect filled it.
But the old floor, beaten to bare planks hadn't changed. They had for at least forty years if not sixty years been stomped on, tiptoed on, danced on, sat on and in return had given splinters to any foot too much in a rush to be careful.
Before death or eviction, one must leap into making home a home. In under two hours the Mariner emptied the room and the cat, bewildered that his hiding spots and scratching posts had disappeared, settled in with us waiting for transformation to begin. ** Related Posts:
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.