My Childhood Bedroom

Art by Xuming Du

As I sit down on this disproportionately large, quite regal armchair, I gaze around to see much of the same. Much of the same it’s been for my entire life really. Ah, the bliss of being back in my childhood bedroom. Time stands still. Except for this new humongous beige chair of course. Now that I sit on it, this being the first time as it usually poses as a dirty laundry pile, I realise I like this chair. It has a good vantage point of these four white walls, and who doesn’t like beige?

 

From here I can stare directly at my shelf. Sitting on top is that ugly bright purple UE boom that broke seven or eight years ago. I was so excited when I got that for my birthday, or maybe it was Christmas? Didn’t last too long.

 

This shelf still fills me with unease. You see, half the thing is disconnected from the wall. Growing up I spent countless nights peering up at this long, pearly-white block of wood, half hanging directly above my head, knowing that if it broke off just that little bit more it would be a fatal blow. Probably. Definitely would cause a late-night trip to the ER.

 

My gaze drifts over to my wardrobe, to no doubt sneer at the two floor to ceiling mirrors plastered on the doors. Who needs mirrors that big? No one wants to see that much of themselves in their own room, I can tell you that much.

 

The reflection reveals a little girl lounging on a ginormous armchair. She’s pouting straight back at me. But it’s not me.

 

Well, it is me, of course, it’s my reflection. Obviously. But it’s not really me. I look younger here, my hair looks longer tied back in its ponytail, my face more slender, eyebrows thinner, eyes maybe a little bit sadder. 

This girl looks so young. 

I start to pull faces at her… at me – pull faces at me. 

Still, all I see is the sad little girl in the mirror staring back at me.

 

It’s not her fault she’s so damn sad. She’s stuck in this bloody room with the stupid purple UE boom and the shelf that will probably enact her death. Quickly, the flicker of sadness in the little girl’s eye turns into a wired mania,

GET ME OUT

Her eyes scream as the little girl leaps to the mirror, clawing the glass doors with her every last mite,

GET ME OUT OF THIS ROOM!

 

My vision becomes blurry, and the wardrobe begins to softly bang. See that’s just the thing about coming home, I can never see clearly. Time warps and I am suddenly that little girl again. 

 

Did I ever leave this place? Grow up? Move on? 

Perhaps not.

 

Maybe I should be more grateful for this monstrosity of a chair, as it is the singular thing ajar within these four white walls. Without it, there would be no way to differentiate the time that has passed. 

 

Maybe next time I come back I should chuck up a poster or put in a new rug to accompany the chair. 

Or maybe next time I’ll just stay in my sister’s room…

 

Originally published in Woroni Vol. 72 Issue 1 ‘Evolution’