Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Room

The walls are painted the color of butter, real butter that we all used to use.  The kind my father would open in sticks and place in a bowl then open the fake yellow margarine and dump those sticks in the bowl and it would sit out all day on the counter with a spoon in it.  Every once in a while, he or my mom would mash it with the spoon to see if it was soft enough to mix together, the fake with the real, to make a mixture of what?  Something partly good for you with half the taste?  I never questioned them on it.  I just remember my father sitting on the kitchen stool mixing the two together with a wooden spoon in a plastic bowl and when you could no longer tell butter from margarine, my mom would spoon it into saved margarine bowls.  Then into the fridge it went to harden and that's what we used.  Maybe they were saving calories, but why not just use the margarine?

Back to my room.  It is nothing like the room I grew up in.  The carpet only goes to about 6" from the wall.  Underneath are polished wood floors.  The hamper is overflowing, always.  Every flat surface has something on it that is out of place.  Clothes piled on top of a duvet filler piled on top of an over filled knitting basket.  A bookcase that holds clothes covered with a basket holding a doll filled with last year's school handbook and contact numbers.  An IKEA catalog that we'll never buy anything from a Christmas bag with a gift card from last Christmas that I just used.  The box the gift card came in.  The chest of drawers that holds my clothes, also holds the t.v. the cable box, a sign book a glass bottle the phone, a dvd, a blue ribbon and an alarm clock which I cannot see for everything else on the chest of drawers.  Another bookcase on the other side of the t.v. holds David's clothes.  On top of it is a white plastic basket that looks like a mini laundry basket.  My stuffed penguin, Popsicle is in it in bad need of repairs.  David's sweatpants hang over the side along with some dvds underneath them.  Beside that is a laundry basket, regular size with David's clothes in them.  It's always there and I don't know why he always wears clothes out of that stack.  But I haven't asked him.  Next to the window he has hung his baseball hats on the gold hook that would hold the curtain back.  It's not much of a curtain so this doesn't bother me.  On top of his dresser is a candle that long ago lost it's scent, a few of his belts, a plastic Virginia Tech cup with change in it and a fan.  Raider's bowl, our yellow lab that died quite a few years ago, is sitting with his ashes in a box and his collar and tags.  Our other dog that died, Baylee, his ashes are in a more ornate box and in an envelope is a clay paw print and a paint paw print of his.  His collars is there along with his bowl.  No we don't have bad luck with animals, they lived long happy lives with us, but like everything, they die and they ripped our hearts out when they did.  And when those paw prints came in the mail without any warning, not expected at all, I couldn't speak for hours remembering my dog, the only one I'd ever raised from a puppy, his pink and black tongue.  How no one but me could stand him licking.  How he once licked my husband's beard 123 times.  How my oldest son used to open his mouth when he was a toddler for him to lick inside his mouth.  How he kept Raider's ears clean, how he never had an ear infection while he was alive thanks to Baylee's meticulous licking.  How his tongue was just a little too long for his mouth and when he was at his most relaxed, it would hang out just a bit.  How he hated being left behind and he tore paper and he didn't like being blown in the face.  How soft his ears were, how silky his fur was, how he'd sit in the sun by the fence and face the driveway and let the wind blow against him, holding his head up majestically like he was a lion, proud and surveying his territory instead of a rescue dog, a chow lab mix trying to be the alpha of a dog fifty pounds larger than him.  My Baylee, my beautiful puppy will always be in my heart.  I would have died with him on that floor, too if I didn't have a husband and children and other dogs to take care of.  But there's always someone else to think of, so I had to lay there and watch the life go out of his eyes, his beautiful velvety brown eyes and his tongue stop and they wanted me to go.  And I thought, how can I leave him behind?  He was my first child.  I don't want him to be alone.  I don't want him stuck in a freezer.  But once my husband had me out of that room,  the assistant lovingly took his paw and put it in paint and pressed it on a piece of paper for me.  And then she took some soft clay and pressed his foot into it and made an impression so I wouldn't forget his pawprint.  It was so thoughtful and kind, yet that day, it opened the wound all over again.  Even now, I am sobbing remembering the day he died.  How long has it been?  Yesterday to me.  By the calendar?  A few years. Three maybe four.  It could be five.  I don't celebrate or remember deaths.  Not in years.  Somehow, it feels trite to describe my room now as I've described something so emotional, now.  I think I'll stop and write him back to life in a piece of fiction.

1 comment:

  1. Love this string of you life, and what you've shared. It's real. That's my favorite kind of post.