A room only a little bigger than my arm-span
The door: number 3 on a metal circle at the top left-hand corner.
a heavy lock, it slammed if you let it
5 neighbors to share the thin walls with
Red carpet, red curtains, a red pin-board on the wall.
not an easy color to work with –
four sets of fairy-lights would have to do.
A desk of light-brown wood, 4 drawers, and an office chair which I spun agitatedly on,
whilst I wrote essays titled Chivalry and Romance; The Glorious Revolution; Intro to Christianity.
A narrow bed with a sagging mattress, and a shower room which flooded when I shaved my legs,
the floor just wide enough for one guest; sometimes we squeezed three in and woke up in a loving bundle of girls in pajamas.
Summer came, I left the room empty for a new occupant
A room at the back of a terraced house which looked over the fields
From the ceiling, two walls sloped away diagonally – crucially, white
Easier to style. I blutacked photos on the walls. Took them down for ‘house inspection’ days
White sheets and pale pink pillows –
the bed creaked. It was comfier than the last though
I got ill in the cool mornings of the autumn. The room watched me weep – curl up – not leave the bed.
The worst nights of my life
The ones I thought I could not survive.
I left for three weeks and when I came back,
the light came in pink and gold in the afternoon. It sat on the walls and said
Life can be beautiful now –
After walks along the river in May, I emptied the room and said goodbye
Six months at home
Then an attic room, where the roof sloped down and cut out half of the space;
just because you can fit a double bed – doesn’t mean you should
The first day, I dragged the desk beside the bed
so that I could sit at it more comfortably.
The walls already badly marked, I blutacked to my heart’s content
Bought flowers when I could afford them, because they made me happy
but also because the carpet was brown and ugly
A huge Velux window:
a square of blue or grey, lilac or gold, red or pink
Depending on the weather
I opened it in the mornings and let the air in
in this, my final year to breathe in that particular air
I frequented the library. The desk still gave me a cricked neck
I emptied the room. I sat on the ugly carpet
looked up at the grey today square in the sloped roof
Exhaled. Thought –
Now to unknown rooms
Maybe with blu-tac marks,
maybe with lumpy mattresses, and paper-thin walls, and wonky walls
Certainly, there will be tears
happiness, and laughter.
Fragments of life, scattered around
In the rooms I have lived in
Graphic courtesy of Izzie Armitage