The Big Rock

…The big rock is hard to the touch, and it smells like wet no matter how many hours have passed since it last rained. The big rock is big enough for me as a small child to spread out completely, its coarse coolness a welcome respite from the summer heat. The big rock makes me feel safe. It’s far away enough from my childhood home that it feels like a different universe, one in which children are in charge. The big rock is close enough to my tiny shack that I can still see my family outside, so I feel safe. The pine needles cover the ground around and under the big rock, and they crunch under my tiny feet. Sometimes I bring chalk and draw on the big rock. I like the way the chalk vibrates in my hand against the rock’s surface as I draw all sorts of symbols that mean “This is mine. This is a safe space for children.” The rock is shaped like a boat, ferrying me to safety. The rock is cold and damp and I’m not old enough to bother worrying about the ten thousand snakes that probably live underneath. The bank that we climb to get to the big rock is steep, and our toes often slip out from under us as we try to get there. The big rock is quiet, not interrupting the chatty sounds of nature that fill the surrounding area. Birds chirp noisily and as it gets later in the day, we can hear the frogs and the hissing, swishing noises in the trees from a prolific bug that I forgot to ask my dad to name. Next to the big rock is a skinny, tall tree. As an adult, it seems to me the rock and the tree are friends, the rock and the tree so close together that they seem to be leaning against one another. I would sit on the rock and…

The Big Rock
The Big Rock – Like this, except way bigger and with a tree friend.

 

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

 

WTF is this blog about?

I created this blog after starting a daily practice of object writing – details found here. You should do it – it’s fun and it’ll make you a better writer, or so I hear.

Once I’d been on a roll for about seven days, I was overtaken by hubris and decided I needed to share all my stream-of-consciousness descriptions with the world. My reasons for doing this are nakedly self-serving: I’m trying to become a writer, not in the literal sense as in one who writes, but in the capitalist sense, as in one who gets paid to write. I hear it’s a cold world out there, full of rejection and despair, so in the meantime, I created this blog to feel a little less like I’m writing for no one but the voice in my head, who mostly says I’m destined to starve in my own filth, usually with the gloomy cadence of Moaning Myrtle.

Pictured: My Inner Voice
Pictured: My Inner Voice

Enjoy?