December 2nd, 2010
Most days, I choose not to look inside and close “the room” to general viewing. If someone forgets to pull the door shut, I, unprepared for the vicious assault on my senses, cringe as I walk past, and pretend it doesn’t exist. Just doesn’t exist. It’s a figment of my imagination, a portal to another, more messy universe, a gateway to hell. Just look at that splotchy, dog-eared comforter, that leaning tower of zig-zagged books, the Easter baskets perched haphazardly on the narrow shelf in the closet, barely buffeting the tumble of Halloween’s plastic pumpkins, homemade baby shower invitations, and mismatched chafing dishes. One false move — or a minor California earthquake — and the whole thing would fall into a great heap upon the floor, mixing into an unfavorable cocktail of enormous killer dust bunnies and spider carcasses.
Sometimes I worry that the kids will wander into “the room” and never make their way back out, doomed to forever walk the maze of discarded cordless telephones and Colecovision user manuals. Or perhaps haplessly fall into a drawer stuffed to the nines with homeless Allen wrenches, that old pillow that used to match that old couch, and my retired scent potpourri. They don’t make patchouli like they used to! Lord knows there’ve been days when I haven’t seen the children for an hour or two, and upon realizing the preternatural silence, jump up in a panic, rush to “the room” and search for them among spindly tinsel and tattered suitcases. Often I pull them back out, barely alive, almost smothered to death by 85 bags of tea lights and the detritus from my brief foray into the nutriceuticals business.
It’s the guest room.
But there’s good to be had there, I suppose. Honey, I could say. Remember that Tandy computer you bought in 1982 A.D.? If you want to visit it for old time’s sake, just look in the northeast corner! What do you mean you can’t see it? Did you move the giant Bozo punching bag? Napoleon Dynamite’s liger? Mary Celeste‘s crew remains? There! Now you see it! You’re welcome, honey!
Lives in “The Room.”
Or if I ever wanted to walk down memory lane. Why, I could visit with my plaid jumper from St. Mary’s grade school! Hi, old jumper! I would call out jovially. What are you doing here? Good to see you, old jumper! Why don’t you introduce me to your moth friends! Or maybe I want to look through vintage yearbooks. So many to choose from! Did I want to page through my, my husband’s, or my brothers’ (both of them) yearbooks? Doesn’t matter! I got ‘em all. Just hanging out next to the garden gnome and George Foreman grill. Someday I plan to use both!
Moth friends? Would you leave just a little bit of this jumper intact for my daughters to see when they’re old enough to care that their mother was a repressed Catholic schoolgirl who keeps this jumper around to remind herself that Sister Camille is probably too arthritic now to rap her fingers with a wooden ruler?
Really, I need to look on the bright side. This is a room of many delights, is what it is. Not where organization and good sense go to die! There’s so much fun to be had in this room. It’s like a museum! I think you should stop by and see for yourself. Just don’t plan to stay over because…
I don’t have the room.