In the right corner of my room, stands a rose-white made to look vintage pine desk. To the left, is the ceiling to floor French Doors, which take up three-quarters of the north facing wall. Adjacent to the glass is a pine bureau that houses—and conveniently hides—the electronic gadgets. Vintage lace found at an estate sale in London hangs with purpose over the double-doors. The lace secures the secrets within the room and offers only shadowy images of the true activity to the outside world. It leaves room for the passerby’s imagination to complete the sentence. Lace sways gracefully in the moonlit wind and dances energetically in the crisp morning air.
A custom shade of pink is painted on the four walls and ceiling. It’s not a popular modern day pink, like those pinks found in Victoria Secrets bras. It’s a vintage pink seen on the walls of a bedroom in a castle or guess house somewhere in England. The wall to the left of the pine bureau—west facing—is home to the door of a walk-in closet, now as cluttered as the pine cabinet. To the left of the closet door is a vintage gilded framed mirror. It’s the type found hanging over fireplaces in drawing rooms of large estates, but here in my room it leans casually against the wall. Each morning I stand in front of the mirror taking physical inventory of my imperfections. Since me and my oddities are old friends now there is no self-loathing, only a nod acknowledging our history.
The room is an addition to the main house and where I spend all of my time when life’s demands—work and family—is not intruding. It’s my writing, music, reading, dressing, tidying-my-thoughts, love letter composing, et al, room. Until having this room, I didn’t appreciate Virginia’s words about having a room of one’s own. If possible, I’d have a lock on the door, but as I am a Latina, I know this is not possible.
In Latin families, there is a tendency to live inside one another’s pockets. I accept nothing is entirely mine and mine alone. My two offspring, the cats, and the offspring’s father, enter my domain without permission, disturb my tranquility, do a jig, tell me something I never wanted to know, and will stand at my side until I acknowledge their breath down my neck.
It’s a part of life, families and their annoyances. Families are untidy, regardless of the effort. It’s near impossible to fold a family into exact halves, and right angles that stack in perfect piles. Rather, they are chaotic. Take my desk drawer, for instance. It’s like my family, messy and disorganized, and as with my family, I close my eyes to the clutter when I open it. The drawer holds precious, not-sure-what-to-do-with-things. The desk drawer, like a family, is a holding place for I-might-need-one-day-and-can-never-throw-away, place.
Families hold on to things for this same reason. Think about traditions. Some need to be thrown-out or updated, but rarely will a family make this decision to break with the past. They will hold on to something for no reason other than we’ve always done it this way. As I do with the contents of my desk drawer. I open and close the desk drawer taking out, or putting in, but I avert my eyes to the letters tied with a ribbon. I always push the pile to the back of the drawer but it manages to assert itself with the clutter and is there waiting for me when I open the drawer.
On the top of the pile of junk in the single desk drawer of my rose-white pine desk are the unopened letters from my father. The letters he wrote to me before he died. I hold on to them as I hold on to the power cord of a phone I had three years ago. I cannot throw out either. I might need them one day. I doubt the cord will be of use since the IPhone replaced the Motorola Razor. As for the letters, I cannot say. What will they tell me when I eventually open them? Until then, they continue to float to the front of the drawer reminding me of their presence and his last words I’ve not yet learned.
One day, the sun’s rays will slip through the intricate design of the vintage lace curtains filling me with the courage to slip the letter opener between the folds of the sealed envelope. One day I tell myself, but that day is not today.
Is there something you have been putting off, such as opening a letter or starting a bigger project?
prompt: describe your space