Storytime: How to live in the home I lived in when I was very small.

October 7th, 2015

There is one thing that needs to be clear before we start: outdoors is great. Outdoors is good. I am all about being outside of doors (frogs rocks trees and water and frogs), but that’s for another time and place. This is about indoors.

The front hall has its place and its place is perfectly fine but also passing. There are implements of outdoors here. Leave yours or be yelled at. More interesting is dad’s office, just offset. There’s a deep and perplexing blue to the floor there, and more paper than can be imagined in Bill Gates’s nightmares. It smells like cardboard packaging and old computer exhaust, and it is largely forbidden.

Moving in, moving along past the kitchen, that island apart, and we have the living room. This is the big real break, the big place where big stuff can happen and you can get serious. Craggy couches rear from a hardwood sea, towering above the waves of slipping, sliding socks and rocky chairs. Fish are abundant, but so are monsters. You’ve got to be careful about yourself in there, or you can lose yourself down between the cracks that drop out of sight and mind and into the spaces where the loose change goes – a quarter! Wealth!
You can find the dining room table there too, but that’s exceptional and extraordinary: the one surface in the whole house you can accidentally colour and it’s okay because it gets wiped down constantly and all the extra leftovers from your drawings will be swept up and away off the edges clean and clear. Not that you miss the drawings because your drawings should grow like goldfish to match the surface’s size and this is a grand table, a big table, a table you tape two four six eight sheets together on and scribble like mad with until your hand aches. It’s good for that. That’s good.

Into the hall, the grand hall, the REAL hall that makes the front hall unworthy because this must be five times its length and nearly as wide even with the bookcases all the bookcases hanging precariously from the walls they’re caves in its walls, chiseled carefully over a long winding river whose doors gape into other times and places. When you’re alone, grab a handful. Then you aren’t. And you know where they all live all day all the time.
It’s sunny there, in the right places.

At the far end is the sisters’ room. It is forbidden in the nonspecial, nonmysterious, unappealing way, where there’s nothing magical about it you just don’t go in there because it’s not right. That’s how it should be.

At the unfar end is the parent’s room. This one is unforbidden in the nonspecial, nonmysterious way because it belongs to your parents and your parents are functionally an extension of yourself as far as privacy goes. Besides, their bed is great for jumping on – not bouncy, but expansive. Good stuff, right good stuff right on. It’s a field, a battlefield, whatever. And another island if you need it, over tight-curled carpet waves.

Just above is the real red ruddy room, walls wined. This place is all out of space; the bed’s too high, the paint’s too strong, there’s a television on creaking wooden legs and god knows what else. Avert your eyes as you pass but if you dare trespass you can find a bloody good bloodpit of a place, a lake of monsters howling under a rubbled ridge and with a great shining glass eye of a sky overhead to light it up. Don’t go here without being ready for some serious stuff.

A bathroom. Necessary. Its tap has the tastiest water you’ve ever heard, but you’ll have to compete with the cat for it. Cat loves that water, straight from the faucet. Sometimes he sleeps in that sink. Because he’s a cat, even if there’s no internet yet.

At the nearly far end is the room. That’s a good room, because it’s yours. It’s a bit dark and dim and leafy thanks to your window which is covered in dark dim leaves up against the fence but that’s nice and shady, even if your paint keeps it cooler and greener itself. It’s a cave in here, a cavern the size of a stadium – or maybe just a hidden valley? A few pools and eddies and streams, a good place for leagues of heroes to slouch and prepare and organize and build and get into plans about getting into fights. On the bottomshelflands of giant bunk-bedded plateaus they live, in caves and crannies; atop the peaks of covers their flying sentinels pose nobly. There’s a captain’s hat from a cottage of boats and a desk too old to think; they are background. Important background. There’s actually starting to be more important background than foreground here, but that’ll only become a problem in ten years or so.
For now, just sit back. You’ve got a lot of work to do. But someone’s not got to do it, and it might as well be you.

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