Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Yesterday night I came home to find most of my roommates' posters and pictures stripped from the walls of our room. It saddened me in a way I was not expecting. I decided I would leave up my own wall hangings until later in the week, but somewhere around eleven o'clock I caved in and began pulling everything down: the pictures from the left door of my wardrobe; my huge collage of photos from home; the "star" labeled "MISS MOON" that hung on the door that was a set piece for "Play Dead" (I played Miss Moon, and had someone not run after me the closing night of the show, I would have forgotten to take it!); the framed drawing of giraffes that I created when I was really little, maybe three or four, with a note on the back from my grandmother saying, "some people know what they like from a really young age"; the newspaper clipping of Kenda, the EcoTarium's polar bear, that Mum included in a care package once; the drawings of flowers that Olivia made me for my "Shape of Things" congratulatory bouquet; and even my name tag and the photos I posted on the bulletin board on the front of our door. (My huge whiteboard calendar would have come down, as well, had it not decided to fall off of its mounting and crash to the floor at approximately four o'clock in the morning about a week ago. All four of us woke up terrified that someone was breaking into our room; when I noticed the faint, square outline of white lying near my bed, I mumbled something along the lines of "Just my whiteboard" before we all went back to bed, our heartbeats slightly quickened. The next morning I thought to myself, I suppose this is a sign that it is time to start packing, but only now have I actually started.)

The only thing I have left standing is my beautiful print of Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night," which is poster-puttied (I may have made up that verb, "may" meaning "probably") to the back of Briana's wardrobe, and faces the head of my bed. I would have taken it down, but I have nowhere to place it where it would not stand the chance of creasing or wrinkling, and I love it far too much to risk that. So up it stays until the day I leave here, which is probably this Sunday.

The walls are so barren now and it is oddly melancholy. All of the white space surrounding us reminds me of how it feels when you first move in to a new house, and you have not yet had the time to hang anything up. My family has moved a fair amount, and the feeling of falling asleep to emptiness is one I still remember. Last night, I experienced it once more. I did not sleep particularly well last night, and I wonder if the walls - if this entire process of destructing what we ourselves created and built - had anything to do with it.

I find it funny to think that in a few months' time, four new first-year women will be moving in to this room, Ham 311, fitting their comforters onto the twin beds, filling the dresser drawers with clothes and belts and scarves, hanging pretty frocks or sweaters or jackets on the wardrobe rack and placing their shoes on its wooden floor, and taping or nailing or puttying or hanging their own photographs and posters and collages onto these white walls. It is hard to believe that nine months ago, Briana, Bridgette, Rachael, and I were the "new firsties," that other girls have lived here before. However plain this room might be - however unfortunate it is with its cold, grey linoleum flooring and the ugly cement pillars that interrupt the span of windows every fifteen feet and the north-facing windows themselves - however dull we sometimes found this room, it was still ours. This was a place where I went through so many of my highs and lows during my first year at Mount Holyoke. Next year, I will be living in a more beautiful building, creating another nine months of memories with a new roommate and perhaps, even, creating a new perspective. 

It is comforting to know, however, that these walls that surround us now, right at this moment, have lived before us, and even more so to realize that they will live again. 

1 comment:

  1. Sammy I really like this! Please keep writing