They looked bigger in the pictures online. The rooms. My compliments to the photographer.
The pictures also managed to somehow downplay the whole floral aspect of the room. Which is quite the accomplishment as well.
Did you ever sleep over at your grandma’s house in the 1980s? It looked just like that. Complete with the four-poster bed, the beige, eternally out-of-date carpet, and, of course, the floral wallpaper. The floral curtains. The chair in the corner covered in clashing floral upholstery.
I didn’t even know flowers had it in them to be so aggressive.
But this room, it’s mine. For two nights at least.
My husband kicked me out of the house. The beautiful scoundrel. He had silently watched for months as the daily grind wore away at me, chipping relentlessly at those parts of me that were buried underneath the gargantuan title of MOM.
He watched and then said enough. Take three days. Go somewhere. Just you.
There were a thousand reasons not to go. Seven hundred of them, at least, being things that had to be done IMMEDIATELY. He let me spout off a mere handful of these reasons before interrupting me with perhaps the two most beautiful sentences ever uttered in the English language: “I don’t care. You’re going.”
As I type this I have a Harry Potter marathon on the supernaturally tiny TV this supernaturally tiny bed-and-breakfast provided. I’m reclining on a ridiculously comfortable bed (with floral bedsheets) surrounded by books and graphic novels and back issues of magazines and newspapers that I wouldn’t be able to finish even if I had three months.
I keep waiting for an interruption. For a knock at the door. For a feral howl of my name to reach my ears. For ... anything.
It never comes.
I’m so happy.
Remember your room from childhood? From when you were a teenager? How it was your sanctuary? The place you could dream in, wonder and plan who you would become. It was perhaps the only place where all the possibilities and all your potential was allowed out in the open.
It has been a very long time since I had that feeling.
“What are you going to do?” my friends asked me when they heard I was temporarily running away from home.
Or perhaps everything.
I didn’t know and it was delicious.
In the end, I do things. And then I don’t do things. And then I think about doing more things but just lay in my beautiful but possibly haunted rented Victorian bed for a bit longer because sometimes just thinking about doing things is better than actually doing them. I keep checking the time. An old habit from my old life, with kids. It’s going slow, the minutes and hours leisurely crawling forward, in no hurry to get anywhere. I briefly debate stealing this precious clock.
And then, perhaps the most magical thing of all happens. I start to miss them. My family.
It has been a very long time since I’ve had that feeling.
And, I now realize, vital.
I don’t know how I can ever repay my husband for this gift, for these three days he gave me to remember who I was, who I still am, underneath all the MOM. And to remember all the reasons I decided to take that title in the first place.
But should he ever feel the need to run away from home, I know a place.