Do you remember being young and playing in your room? It was your end zone touchdown. It was one place where you were invisible to the fiery darts of the world. It was your suit of armor. It was your safety net in case you fell and scrapped your knee. It was the one place you ran to when everything else was against you.
Do you remember all the conversations that your room was host to, whether you were chatting on your computer, telephone, or had your choice group of friends over? How many pictures and posters did your old room help you hang? How many tears did it watch you shed? How many movies did it host? How many kisses and wandering hands did it witness, on top of other things we are going to tip toe around for the time being and for the sake of not embarrassing ourselves?
Some people have one special room that titles this grand description. Some people move on a regular basis and get different sarcophagus’ every couple of years. Some people are fortunate enough to have an added bonus space to play in. For me, I had one of three options – the living room, my bedroom, or outdoors.
Think about how your bedroom has changed from your adolescence, to your twenties, to your thirties, and beyond. Where you once jammed vinyl records, cassette tapes, or CD’s and connected to dial up, one might want to transform that area into a personal study. Where you once covered the walls with different types of rock and pop bands, teenage heartthrobs, and cut out pictures of your friends, one might blend catchy color schemes and modern decor.
A teenage boy being invited into a girl’s room is a right of passage much to the parent’s disliking. When you enter the secret portal that most people keep locked away from the outside world, the boy automatically thinks they are going to see all types of private secrets lying around. He soon discovers that the loving host has been cleaning her special place ever since she knew her guest was coming over. He can spend however long he wants dissecting the things he sees in her room without voicing it because the girl has erased all evidence of her daily living.
In college, entering a girl’s room can go one of two ways. It could be clean, smell like a perfume leaflet in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, and be fluffed for an exciting and eventful evening. On the flip side, there could be underwear and bras thrown over fan blades and lampshades, chalky stains splattered on the sheets, and last night’s dinnerware scattered about. I have known some boys’ rooms to be so disheveled that you would need a snow shovel to find the floor. For them, the ground was the closet and Axe body spray was their washing machine.
In your twenties, thirties, and beyond, most bedrooms have matching schemes and patterns, with an essence of Feng Shui being felt as you enter it. If you are lucky, there will be scented candles burning or a diffuser pumping lavender and vanilla into the air. More than likely, there’s a sixty-plus inch television mounted on the wall or sitting on a dresser, and, if a woman is involved, there are at least thirty pillows on the bed (women and pillows – geez! How many is too many? My answer – four maybe five, if one pillow is smaller and used to accent).
Someone would like to ask me – “what has you thinking about this randomness, V?”
My honest reply – “One never knows. Sometimes, I lay in my bed at night, look at the ceiling, and think about all the places where I have shut my body down. I remember my younger years and being surrounded by Star Wars figures (still in the original boxes), a forty inch television with a VHS and DVD combo built into it, a Gateway desktop computer that did not know what a gigabyte was, and watching Fight Club as I drifted to sleep. From time to time, there’s an essence of something that catches my soul and arouses my senses. It’s a unique form of nostalgia. It’s different.”
Today, my Star Wars figures are Tupperware’d away in a spare closet. No one will never know how hard it was to be a kid, not play with a toy you bought, and simply admire it in its original box. VHS and DVD’s are obsolete. My laptop has one quadrillion terabytes of storage. I still watch Fight Club a handful of times every month as I drift away, not just because it is the greatest movie ever (sorry, not sorry), but to reground my sense of familiarity and not let life on Earth destroy it.
We may not have known it at the time and now we take it more seriously since we have aged, but the moment someone asked us, “want to go to my room?”, they were welcoming us into the safest place of their house. The ones that have been taken advantage of in this experience and could not label their room as being such, my heart goes out to you. I hope those people have paid the price for cutting holes in your safety net, as well as your heart.
The bedroom is a mystical place filled with stories from far and near. The genre of this private journal depends on how you want to write it at the moment. We, as human beings, bed down in this room of our spaceship. As the earth spins and keeps everyone else on gravitational lockdown, this room carries us. This room records our most intimate moments, moments that would make our parents and friends wonder what the hell they were associated with.
We are free to be emotional in this room. We are free to love as we see fit. We are free to be who we need to be. We create ideas in this room and destroy worlds in the process. We are free to dream in this room, not be judged, and throw caution to the wind. Some of us pray in this room. Others do a list of unthinkables.
In this room, we connect to things that we hold in our soul for years to come, much less a lifetime.
So next time you are drifting to sleep, hitch hike down memory lane if the memories are safe enough to do so. What was hanging on the walls of your room? What were you watching on television? Who were you chatting with online? Who were you infatuating about as you tried to nod off? Who was making you cry yourself to sleep and how did they turn out in the long run? What pictures did you hold dear? What made you laugh? What made you feel safe?
Those same dreams you wanted to chase back then, are you still pursuing them or have you Tupperware’d them away in your closet like a prized collection of boxed action figures? Toys want to be played with (pun intended). What happens when you do not?
So, I ask you, “do you want to come to my room?”
Your response can vary to that question considering some of you do not know the first thing about me. You have the right to decline my humble invitation even though I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
Guess what, reader?
You are already in my room.
You have been visiting it now for almost ten months.
Go grab a blanket, some comfy socks, one of my oversized rock band t-shirts, and let’s lay on our sides and have a meaningful conversation. If that doesn’t suffice, we can break eye contact, lay on our backs, stare at the ceiling, and let the world revolve on its own. You know the music playing in the background is going to be on point because, hey, it’s me. If you turn off all the lights, there’s a good possibility I might have glow in the dark stars and planets plastered everywhere, unbeknownst to you. Lava lamps you say? I say how many? Pillows? Only four to five – sorry!
We have work to do because it has been put off for too long.
It’s time some of us get back to dreaming.
It’s time some of us rediscover our room.
It’s time some of us feel at home, once again.
This world may take our houses, but never, ever, let it take your room.
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