My Childhood Bedroom

…My bedroom as a child was brown. Brown walls that were covered in paneling and brown shag carpeting installed in the 70s on top of five layers of carpet that were already there. When you walk on it, it feels softer than your eyes tell you it should because of all the extra padding underneath. This room has little insulation from the elements – the layers of carpet touch floor, which touches ground. When it’s cold outside, it’s a walk-in refrigerator. My dad was poor and cold as a boy – often his family didn’t have money for shoes or heat. Since he spent so many years freezing, he now keeps our house in winter hot, uncomfortably hot. My room, exposed to the elements from the outside then became the air conditioner for the whole house. We would exasperatedly throw the door to my room open and let the cool air wash over us, blowing against the sweat caused by the furnace downstairs. The room smelled like dirty socks even though my mother did her best to ensure no dirty socks were in the room. All of my siblings that came before me, three plus at one point an ailing grandmother shared that room and it’s my theory that the dirty sock smell was just a mixture of all of our scents and a stubborn must. The room was large but filled with the clutter of former inhabitants. On my dresser were pictures, old, black and white, of my aunt and uncle on their wedding day. Mom wouldn’t let me take it down even though this aunt and uncle were still alive and in good health and despite the fact that the room belonged to me. The aunt and uncle come to visit sometimes and I found the stark contrast between the youth in their wedding picture and their appearance now as seniors disturbing…

Shag Carpeting


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