30 May 2006


So much comes back.

My parents refurbed our apartment in Boston in the mid 80's. I think I was around 8. My mom asked what colours I wanted my new room to be decorated. New room. I couldn't believe I was getting a new room, and it was going to be huge. So big they were going to split my bunkbed - I had that much room. My favourite colour varied in those days - it was either fire engine red or navy blue depending on my mood, or which crayon was less of a stump. I think my final decision was that I wanted the entire room to be red. Bright red. Red curtains, red carpet, red walls - the works. Fortunately for the retinas of my guests, mom overruled a bit. The walls were painted white, but I did get a red carpet and red curtains. The latter had diagonal white pinstripes. My mother made them. I think this was 21 years ago. The curtains coincided with that rite of passage known as getting rid of the nightlight. So extreme was the change that from needing the small glow in the corner I couldn't stand any light in the room at all if I was trying to sleep. Hence the curtains would be pulled down before bed, giving off an eerie red glow as the streetlight outside tried to get in. The red glow didn't bother me so much and as the next few years passed I slept later, and the curtains would stay down longer.

I wandered around the old neighbourhood on my birthday, looking up at the old apartment and looking to feel something. Expectations were low. I don't even know if they were expectations. Maybe I was looking for something, I really don't know. We left Boston 17 years ago and sold the house 12 years ago. For the 5 years we still owned it, the house was rented.

So I turn the corner onto Otis Place and stare up at the windows to my old room. They're just windows. I never looked at them when I lived there, and they're nondescript from the outside. At first I thought I was hallucinating. So I took a picture. Whoever lives there now kept my curtains. Curtains designed for a hyper little boy whose favourite colour was red. I've been trying to make sense of it. Prodding it in my brain, seeking some deeper meaning. Hoping there's some prophetic lesson to be learned. Meaning in curtains? I don't know, but with all that's going on and how quickly life is moving, it's nice that there's an inadvertent monument to my childhood somewhere. Even if it's only a set of curtains.

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