There are new curtains and a change of wall paper. It’s plainer, more neutral, more guest friendly than before. Odd ornaments remain, but they’re selective, more decorative, not the mish-mash it used to be. The drawers are full of clothes that aren’t mine, there a boxes and bags of bits and bobs, new to the house but without a home yet.
Some things remain though: old photos, memories, ten years old, some closer to twenty. Faces still familiar, but altered now, moved away, grown up. Some of my personality remains, however: the stars and moons above the wardrobe, painstakingly cut out and glued, to match wall paper long gone. They made my fifteen year old self so happy once, funny how seeing them still brings happy memories.
There are other things too, accumulated over then years of being home and away: jewellery, crockery, a watch along side once in a life time memories – centre pieces and bouquets of silk flowers from my wedding, never having been convenient to move.
The room still smells the same. It’s always smelt the same: the smell of washing powder and line dried bedding, warmth from the heating and the air freshener from downstairs. It’s heard to cries of a baby, the sobs of a child, the tears of a teen and the tears of a woman. It’s seen the years pass by, as independence developed.
This house is not mine, this room neither. The collection of stuff is not mine, either. Old jigsaws and toys, old clothes, old photos. A dumping ground, a place for storing wine and juice and things that need no attention now.
But when I come home, it’s still my room. The bed gets cleared and the shelves earn a dust. It’s still home, it’s still familiar. It will always be my room.