Sunday, July 10, 2016

This will be my last blog post from my old hometown bedroom.

I wasn't going to post about it because I didn't think it mattered. I'm not much into blogging anymore and while my archives are full of belly laughs and horrible embarrassment, I have been preoccupied with real life and just... I don't do it anymore, the way I used to.

Until I remembered that this room, this 12x12 foot box, this westward-facing room that roasts from 3 PM until 8 PM from the sun beating down on it, this sanctuary I built myself the summer before my 13th birthday... this is where it all began.

I wrote my very first blog entry ever 17 years ago on LiveJournal in this room.

That white desk. That hand-me-down from my sister, who was upgraded to a bigger wooden desk with storage. That old creeky white desk with shelves on the side that would fall apart if more than 6 CDs sat on it. That old computer monitor with the rounded screen and the loud tower whose fans would whirr and buzzzzzzz while I typed away to strangers on the Internet as a 13 year old. The duct tape I put over the computer light because I couldn't sleep unless it was pitch black in here. The one glow in the dark star that has been on my ceiling fan blade since before my family moved in. The last piece of the family before us. It's lasted all these years. When I turn the light off at night, a glowing circle above my head, until it fades, until I fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the pool pump starting, the fountains splashing into the water and the heater kicking in. The water flowing right by my head and the birds in the palm trees outside screeching, screeching, screeching as early as 5 in the morning sometimes. The way the sun rises at 5:30 in the summer; not until nearly 8:00 in the winter. Those horribly dark days of junior high, of high school, and some of college. That biology project... the one with the grid. Something to do with DNA and dominant genes and probability of having a child with brown hair and blue eyes. My blue transparent cordless phone. The one Corrie would call me on everyday after I'd eat dinner, when we'd make plans to see bands and obsess after we came home from shows. The white wallpaper with light pink flowers from the previous owners that I kept on my walls until sophomore year (that initially were covered with Hanson posters). The hot pink walls when I went through a hot pink phase in high school. The now sky blue walls from college when I couldn't bear the memories of high school. My first kiss. My first kiss ever! Almost exactly where I am sitting right now! What was his name? Ian? He played drums for us briefly and looked like a Moffatt. 9/11, coming home from school early and not understanding what was going on. Trying to call my dad at the radio station and not getting through. Learning to drive. That first breakup. The real gut puncher. I didn't eat for a week. Annie came over and laid next to me while I cried over that boy. My first round of antidepressants, when I came home from college for Christmas. Christmas mornings. Sixteen holiday seasons, Halloweens, Thanksgivings, Christmas mornings. The way the Santa Ana winds feel on my skin every October. Driving up to Lombardi's for bake sales and performances and pumpkins. The view of the hill outside my window and how every time it would rain, there would be one crow in the tree. The weeds would shoot up a day later and the city would mow it all down by the following week. The brush fires. The evacuations. The smoke inhalation. The asthma attacks and acne and first dances and proms and school plays and choir performances. My first guitar. All those times I got grounded for things that still make no sense to me. When my first cell phone ran out of battery power while I was in Calabasas holding hands with a boy on the roof of Sharky's off Las Virgenes. I came home late and had everything taken out of my room. The car accident. The car accident that changed everything for me. The car accident that I am still dealing with emotionally. Being woken up every 20 minutes all night long because of my concussion. My mom sleeping on the floor with me while I cried. Doing my make up in the mirrored closets. Sitting on the floor, staring at my imperfections for hours on end. Cutting my own bangs, dyeing my ends blue. Walking to the next street up to see friends whose parents had the same house layout as ours. The pool parties, oh my god I'll miss the pool parties. Going in the spa until midnight and dreaming about who we'd be when we'd turn 30. The various layouts of furniture over the years, the twin bed, the TWO twin beds, the queen bed. Moving away to college. Crying over lost loves, lost pets, dogs whose deaths still make me cry, dogs who would lie in bed with me and lick my feet while I'd cry and cry and cry about how hard it was to grow up. Making a split-second decision to move to Chicago a day after I graduated college. Moving home when the snow started to fall. The recession. That fucking recession. The call at 9:30 PM from my aunt letting us know my grandma had passed. I sat and stared at the dresser to my right. How could this be. She was fine. Moving to Nashville when my world really began to fall apart. Moving back here and losing all sense of independence for a year while I nannied for an actress. Hating every minute of being forced to live here, making no money, saving even less. Wanting desperately to be able to just go home one more time. It's all done now. It's over.

This room has seen all of me. It heard every song I wrote as a teenager. It saw every weird outfit I put together. It saw every boy I obsessed over, every dream I tried to accomplish, every friend and acquaintance and schoolmate and project. Every single memorable moment of growing up took place right here, where I'll sleep for the last time tonight.

I'll drive away from this house and this city next month to send off my parents into retirement in another state. I'll never swim in this pool again. I'll never turn onto this block. I might never stop within the city limits again, save for the occasional tank of gas and pit stop at Telly's for a burger.

It's been a wild ride. In the immortal words of Blink 182, whose record I listened to for the first time in this room, "I guess this is growing up."