Thursday, January 6, 2011
I remember the first time I saw a thing built into a wall rather than a piece of furniture up against one. It was love at first site! Drawers, built into the bones of the house - the upstairs room of a Victorian home. You know the kind of room with slanted sides that caters to childish heights and "NO GROWN-UPS ALLOWED!" It was that kind of a room, with magical windows and musty wallpaper spiked with thornless flowers. It was Annette's room and I envied her private nest. Netsy Wetsy Can of Pepsi. Nesty, nesty. Her mother was the school P.E. teacher and her father...well, I don't remember what he did for a living, but he was very interested in our school assignments and enjoyed doing them himself more than helping us along our way. I remember telling my mom on him for fear I get busted later on when I knew I couldn't talk myself out of it. I knew he did a much better job than two 10 year old girls ever could. Someone would know. I might have confessed my anxiety to my teacher at some point after the project was graded and over with. But my memory is fuzzy on that point.
Back to the drawers. The dresser with disguised volume. It stuck with me so much that to this day, whenever I came across places to live with built-ins (usually bookshelves) I gravitated toward them with fierce self-possession. I need those coves, those hollowed out spaces that cannot be removed for all the impermanence that home has been for me. They are deliberate. To replace them; to shift their space in this world requires real work of sweat, boards and plaster. Commited.