Home Sweet Home?...

December 1, 2010
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The room is a warm color of moss green. The color blends into the shadows of the day, complimenting the dull green fabric chair next to the stale white wall. The plum leather couch lies against a huge window. But no matter how extensive the window may appear, the room always materializes into a dark, concealed chamber because of dust blocking out the sun. On the wall across from the grand window stands the cinema television: 57 inches of pure entertainment, with little knickknacks my mother collected over the years surrounding the TV on an aged oak entertainment center. Pictures of shattered memories, books meant to be opened but never were, and porcelain figurines cover the many shelves of the focal point of my living room. A final touch of waist high wooden gates keep the awkward feeling from escaping into the rest of my home-sweet-home.

Years have gone by, things have changed, but the living room has not. Sure a coat of paint has been added, and sure, the furniture has been moved around, but the feeling and memories have been embedded into the walls, and there they will remain. Within a second of seeing the room, I can not help but feel uneasy. Recalling all of the fights, and the screaming. The long, timeless hours I had to sit quiet, and pretend to not understand what was going on. Not realizing that every second I spent in my own world was another second I was setting myself up for a mental breakdown. It hurt inside, to know that things were slowly breaking apart. Nothing could be helped, because I was little, and still was finding my voice in the world.

I step over the gate, separating my dog Max from the rest of the family, and land lightly onto the newly installed carpet. A mile long walk to my assigned seat on the couch, receiving dirty looks because I am blocking a meaningless football game. I take my seat in the dense sheet of silence that is draped on top of the room. Slowly being suffocated from the discomfort; I start to get on edge. The hostility is felt from all corners, and all I think about is how badly I would like to find the knife to cut through this deathly cold silence and find air to breathe. Instead of finding the knife, I sit there, chocking on what has become a routine feeling.

Mindlessly staring at the TV. Not 5 minutes go by before the silence is broken by ignorance. My mom thinks she can make things better by talking about topics that are irrelevant. Anything to break the silence I suppose. I shut my eyes, as the voices in the back of my head grow louder. I try to block them out, but frustrated tears begin to roll down my cheeks, and leave a bitter taste on my lips. I tell myself that this is normal. I tell myself that things will get better one day, and that there is no reason to cry. I open my glazed over, puffy red eyes and start to breathe. I clear my mind, and pretend I am anywhere but in that room. I am scarred for life, and nothing I do or tell myself will make the scars fade. Knowing that does not stop me from trying to find any bit of relief I can; however, the voices break through my safe haven almost every time.

Someone leaves. Broken hearts methodically beat over the disturbance of the television. It is just me and a stranger in the room. Nothing can be said, because everything has come out in the fury of the fight. I start to stare at the shadows of trees that break through the dusty old window. They sway on the floor rhythmically, distracting my mind for a few seconds. I glance over at the stranger: he is the one that has torn my family apart. A cold stare has taken over his face. I wish I could say I knew them, but I do not. Confusion and the repeated feeling of anger takes over my body once again. My lips mouth the words I would love to tell the detached family member sitting across the room from me. My body makes sudden jerks, subtle twitches, as I debate vigorously on what to do. I desperately want to make the situation better, but all I can do is bite my tongue and swallow my rash words.

Time goes on, and I start to revert back into an uneasy mindset. I can hear the ticking of the hidden time bomb in the room. One false move and another round of hostile fireworks would erupt: causing emotions to flair up, only this time, no one would hold back. The hash words that did not stab the heart still hang over the heads of the family like the stars of the night. Either mom or dad returns, and sits in their regular spot. Dried tears lay upon the cheeks of the ones who got hurt the most. My hands twitch, wanting to extend them out to grasp my family tight, and remain there hugging forever. But alas, all I am allowed to do is sit in the silence. Hard looks are shot at each other, but underneath each one, the pain is visible. No one wanted it to be this way, but that is simply how it is.

Almost every night this ritual repeats. The word “family room” or “living room” is anything but what the true intentions of this space was meant to be. I stray away from this room, because I can not stand to feel such intense feelings by simply standing inside those walls. I feel trapped, and there is no way to escape, because we are all called into that room every day to spend “quality time” together (although not much bonding is occurring). The damage I feel can never be helped, nor can it be avoided. The smell of anger will always stain that room; and as long as the fire of passion to hurt each other is there, the feelings of helplessness and discomfort will continue to remain intact.

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OpalFlame said...
Dec. 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm
this is sooo amazing. felt myself tearing up. the way you sescrieb everything is so real and i can feel what you feel... this deserves to be in the magazine. keep on writing
Taylor O. replied...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm
Why thank you :)
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