Back in My Childhood Bedroom
SOMEHOW, I keep coming home. Not just to visit for a weekend, like most of my friends, but to live. Since graduating from college five years ago, I've done this four different times. I can't seem to stay away for good.Skip to next paragraph
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The first time I came home to live was right after graduation. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I thought that New York was the only place exciting enough to do it in. I started sending resume after resume to New York companies, hoping to get a response.
I tried to persuade my college roommate to come with me. She said New York was too big and too dirty, and besides, she was enjoying living at home and was saving money to boot.
I finally did get a job offer that sounded perfect. The only hitch was the extraordinarily low salary. Still, it was more than I had ever made before and I was convinced that I would be satisfied with, and even thrive on, just scraping by.
``That's crazy,'' my father said. ``You'll never be able to live on that.''
Still, I went. And four months later I was back. My father was right. It was crazy.
The second time I came home was after living in two different apartments in Boston with the same college roommate. I had decided that soon I would leave my job to go to graduate school, but first I had to save some money.
I packed two years' worth of bedding, kitchen utensils, towels, and curtains into boxes, borrowed a friend's truck, wrangled offers to help from several other friends, and faster than I knew what was happening, I was home.
Into the basement went my things. In the room we call the ``furnace room,'' I stacked the prints that had covered my apartment walls. I stuffed bedding that I wouldn't need into large green trash bags. And I pushed plates and glasses, all carefully wrapped in newspaper, into a corner where they wouldn't be in the way.
My kitchen table, chairs, bed frame, TV, and futon that folds up into a couch are still scattered around the basement. At first I insisted that they all be in one place, so it would be easier to gather everything together when I moved again. But it didn't work out that way.
When I finally left for school a year later, I was moving so far, for such a short time, that it didn't make sense to take anything that didn't fit into a few suitcases and two large duffle bags. I unearthed the bedding and some kitchen utensils, but everything else stayed where it was.
A year and a half later, degree in hand, I again moved back home. I had school loans to repay and felt fortunate to have someplace to live where the rent was reasonable and the landlord equally so.
Now, on weekend mornings, I sometimes lie in bed and look out the window, thinking about the fact that it is the same window I looked out of when I was 12 years old and had just moved into this new home. Though the walls are now covered with cream-colored paint, instead of the hot-pink flowered wallpaper that was here when I arrived, everything else is virtually the same. This fact is both disconcerting and comforting.