My Bedroom Wall
A few blue moons ago, when the world was sent to their rooms like disobedient kiddies or glitchy Sims, like everyone else, it got me thinking. Thinking about my bedroom walls, to be specific. To be even more specifically specific, about why they seemed to be slightly 3D. No, I was not in the midst of a covid-induced hallucination. Not entirely anyway.
You see, it was my childhood bedroom. I had seen its walls a lot, and its walls had seen a lot. A Disney Channel phase, with a Californian twang and a side-ponytail; a Tumblr phase where “white lips, pale face” was a manifesto, not a lyric; a dreampop phase in which Mac DeMarco’s chest hair was like gold fuzz upon Adonis’s chest, and so on. It does go on; I will warn you.
Anyway, to deal with my fickle sense of self, being always in flux n that, I had plastered my walls with everything that I loved. Or everything that I thought defined me. Whether this was a crumpled concert ticket, or a sea of album covers, I never missed a trick. Listening to a new artist? Print their face out. Liked an exhibition? Now I’ve brought it home with me. I was desperate to not forget anything. I treated my white walls as though they were the inside of my brain. It was like a race against my own memory.
Well, it got so frantic that the local library barred me from my weekly printing sessions. This was a low point. Blacklisted from a library. To be unable to show my face for fear of being swatted out by a hefty copy of War and Peace…
My room wasn’t even that big. So, what I would do was layer pics on top of each other. The album covers from an old phase would be covered by the fresh prints of a new phase. An onion skin of fleeting interests. It got a bit messy, and I ran out of Blu Tack a few times, but I was content with my creation. I felt like the snobby curator of my own mini gallery.
Where am I going with this, you might ask? Well, in a time where the saying “new year, new me” is shoved down our throats, along with glow ups, phases, fads, and trends, it’s pretty
easy to get lost in different versions of ourselves. Change can be good obviously. But you don’t always have to start from scratch. Trace over the canvas, don’t erase it.
The Pied Piper
I am the 21st-century Pied Piper, but what trails after me is not a band of rats, but a band of doubts, fears, and oversized garden shears. Pruning and snipping and cutting stuff down. Truthfully though, I would much rather a cross-eyed, buck-toothed mischief of sewer rats be nipping at my heels than these abstract worries. That depends on how sharp their teeth are actually. Little sabres resting on hairy, ratty lips. Get a load of that.
Change can be hairy too. Right now, it feels as though Pandora’s Box of worldly evils has been unleashed into my brain. My poor, unsuspecting brain. A brain that is smooth from overexposure to the internet at a wee age. Enough. I ain’t no victim. No no. I shall not grovel here in the dim crevices of my childhood bedroom. What lurks on my watercolour horizon is a lot bigger than worry-shaped rats. Cookie cutter critters? Eh. I’m not making much sense.
I am about to tumble into the ketchup-stained arms of SCA (that was a reference to the logo, nothing weird). The ripe, juicy, familial embrace. Hang on little tomato.
So, with that, I will wield my magic pipe (the Pied Piper metaphor is really being milked here) and duel anything that threatens my creative spirit. I’m not sure why I’ve entered this medieval dialect. I think that what I’m trying to say is… it really is darkest just before dawn. Wakey wakey!