At the moment there is a massive hole in my bedroom ceiling, through which you can see the pale October sun. As such I have temporarily relocated to my old room that I spent all my formative years scribbling away in. At the moment it's less than inspiring. There are empty cans of paint sitting on the disassembled remains of my old desk, now lacking the half-mile of counter top I used in the place of a real desk. Because everyone knows the best furniture is made from recycled building materials. I've currently got my laptop sitting on an old card table or whatever else you use a felt-covered table for, and in the corner there is a folded up sewing table and a broken artist's drawing board with smiley faces doodled on it. The shelves are missing a few boards, and the scraps of carpet have been badly put back, so like a reverse rug I have carpet all around the edges and a patch of bare splintery boards in the middle. To complete the look, old Amazon envelopes and packing materials are strewn across one corner.
The newest piece of furniture is a brown leather sofa which mysteriously appeared in here not long after I moved out, and has a decent array of cushions and looks utterly alien amongst the mess, like it was playing hide and seek with the downstairs furniture and crept up here, giggling to itself. "They'll never find me here!" it said. Whether the TV and armchairs got bored and went to get cake or are genuinely still looking, I'll probably never know. In any case, this social reject sofa is my bed for the foreseeable future, and the leather rejects all attempts to tame it with a sheet. Having spent ages eleven to eighteen sleeping on the world's lumpiest futon atop a creaking, clanking metal frame which went CHUNK if you so much as shifted your weight to stop an arm from going dead, this is actually an improvement, if you ignore those years I went away to university and slept on real mattresses, or the fact that for the last year I have actually owned a bed which didn't attempt to fold up and swallow me in the night.
On the other hand, my dad finally cleaned the red nail varnish off the light switch, which had been here longer than we had the house and was like the defining characteristic of my room: it was the one with the red light switch. When I was four that was a hugely exciting thing. When I repainted the room when I was eleven I had access to nail varnish remover and cleaned it off, but it looked so alien and plain and boring that I instantly reapplied it. I need a room where at least something is intentionally shabby. With the walls all plastered and painted a pale shade of blue, there are definitely aspirations of neatness here. The wall is saying, "You never stuck up ten million posters of Legolas here, as far as I remember." I spent such a good chunk of my childhood scarring this room I never imagined it would be so easy to remove every trace of the imaginary lands and imaginary loves I created and pasted up there.
Somehow the stacks of paint tins and cleaning products would be more bearable with a red light switch, like the room is saying, "It's okay, it's meant to be like this."
Maybe I'll just take a marker pen and draw my life-size shrine to the Almighty Gsnurd over the wall in front of me again. That's bound to help.