Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Home - The Room

THE ASSIGNMENT:
Think of a room from your past.  It can be any type of room at all. Take a mental picture of that room. What happened there?  What is it like?  What is the atmosphere there?  What are the smells, the sounds, the sights?  How does it feel? Now reveal that snapshot to your reader.Take us to that room. And try to do it in 750 words or less.




~~~~~~
He unlocked the heavy metal door and entered the room.  Carrying my large suitcase and a bundle of clothes on hangers over my arm, I entered.  Four steps in on the low pile, hunter green carpet and I was at the foot of the double bed which had no headboard or foot-board.  Two pillows tucked neatly under the heavy dark patterned spread.  As I inhaled, the hint of stale tobacco and a stuffiness consumed my lungs.  Placing the clothes on the bed and looking forward was "the kitchen."  It consisted of a microwave sitting on a small refrigerator and electric cook-top with four burners located to the left of the sink.  One cupboard was above and one cupboard below the cook-top.  To the right, about six steps away, was the bathroom which had a toilet, a sink and a tub.  The shower curtain was flimsy, stained and smelled old.

As I headed back out to my Wrangler the get some more of my things, I noticed the one window with heavy dark drapes.  The window could not be opened.  It was locked shut.  The room was on the street level of the Motel and my parking space was directly in front of the room...directly in front of the window.

Against the wall on the left heading out the door was a dresser.  It had six drawers each about twenty inches wide and five inches deep.  It would big enough for my life here.  After all, it was only me.   A small television sat on top of the dresser. 

  My husband brought in the rolling rack from the back of his truck and placed it in the corner against the wall.  I hung my entire life on it.  It was amazing how this simple task sent a dagger into my heart.  I felt alone.  I felt empty.  I felt sad.  Yet I knew that this was necessary.  It was something that had to be done.  All day long as I unpacked, I heard my son and daughter's voices in my head.  I heard my grandchildren.  I heard my friends.  I heard my former co-workers wishing me luck and how much they would miss me.     

I had applied for a position in the Bank and once the offer was finalized, I was relocating to Virginia.    Although I wasn't changing my career path, I was changing my lifestyle.  I'd said goodbye to Connecticut, the state where I was born, raised and had lived for 55 years.  My husband would be joining me in a few months after the sale on our home in Connecticut was finalized.  Until then, he planned on coming down once a month so we could look for houses in Virginia.

My husband yelled for me to come and give him a hand unloading the remainder of the boxes from his truck which contained shoes, boots and handbags.  I had brought a few kitchen utensils, two plates, two bowls, coffee cups, a frying pan and two other pans to cook.  After all, this was going to be my new home.  My bank issued laptop was already sitting on the small counter-top located between the bed and the kitchen.

My husband didn't want to wait until morning to leave.  He wanted to get back to the place we called home for ten years.  He didn't want to deal with traffic and so he left.  As I unpacked , I carefully removed the floral rectangular tin from my suitcase and placed it on the dresser.  It meant a lot to me.  It was my dog's ashes.  I had had her put to sleep on February 3rd.  It was already the 27th.  I had told her I would bring her with me to Virginia.  I needed her here with me to keep me company.

So many times when I came "home" from work, I questioned if I had made the right decision in taking the job  in Virginia.  I wanted, longed for and ached for my children, my family, my friends.  Here, I had no one.  I will admit, that since I had no one to talk to and because I didn't know anyone, work became my driving force.  I mean let's face it, I couldn't go and hang out on the front stoop of the parking lot.  There was a truck stop next door and it was always filled.  Milling around until darkness interfered with their ability to see their engines, they would head into their rooms and all I heard was the slamming of doors.

Work kept me focused.  That's all I did.  After my morning coffee and making breakfast, I would shower, dress and jump on that laptop to access the bank's systems.  I'd head out to the branches and at the end of the day, come "home."  I would make myself something to eat and once again, sign on to the laptop.  I lived in the room for what turned out to be the longest and most agonizing ninety three days of my life.  I cried a lot.
  I hated it. 
~~~~~~

12 comments:

gld said...

You have more courage than I do!

I could never have done that. You are a strong woman and you were rewarded by finding the perfect house.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

You put a lot of feeling into this piece, JP, it's really excellent. Wish I'd known you then - I'd have come over and we could've found some fun.

texwisgirl said...

Oh the pains of change. And the loneliness that can go with it...

Sandra said...

i am now hating that room for you. i can feel the pain and that was from the past. change is not something I like at all. i was alone for a while after my divorce and the room i lived in was very like this one, but on the back of a ladies house

Ratz said...

It is indeed painful. I was in a hostel during my final year of college... and I was in this sort of a room myself. It was agonizing but it was that room that sheltered me when the world had kicked me out... probably we all need such a time to realise what is worth in our life. Nice piece JP.

Cristina said...

oh I have been in that Motel, somewhere, at some point. There is nothing comforting about that room. I'm left feeling that loneliness. great job!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

It sounds like such a lonely place. It sounds like it was a long 93 days.

Jane said...

Such an experience had to be tough. Are you happy with your choice? I feel like you are and am glad for you. You have a beautiful home. And I hope a beautiful life,I enjoyed this post. Blessings jane

Anonymous said...

You continue to impress...

-EBR

Chatty Crone said...

Whew - makes me want to breathe deep and get some fresh air - I felt your pain and I'm so sorry you had to go though that. sandie

Cheryl said...

How very sad, those 93 days. Sad, and lonely.

I grew up in Connecticut, btw. ;)

Mandyland said...

I don't think I could have done it. The lonliness would have driven me crazy.

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