Today marks the beginning of the final week in my latest home. I was late to enter it, and from the looks of it, early to leave it. Over the past four years of living in various places across Chicago, this fleeting sense of “home” has been a recurring theme. At the precipice of “adult” life, I’m curious to see if it will continue.
It’s no stretch to say that I’m a neophile, I have a deep need for new, constantly. Housing has been no exception, yet each space ultimately ends up being a reconstruction of the one before, a glamorized corner to sleep in at night. Have I really moved that far from where I started, upon that soft mattress likely stolen from a summer camp and placed on a frame also likely stolen from the same camp?
The area codes have changed, the people have changed, some of the objects have changed. Who you encounter in a space alters it, how you encounter them changes it further, but the objects within the space are nearly as important. As quick as I am to announce the frivolity of material objects, I’m well aware that they also serve as a reflection of ourselves, or at least what we want to be a reflection of ourselves.
A wise Quoaran(a person that uses Quora, not a misspelling of the Quran or something related) once brought to light that often when someone generalizes some aspect of the human condition, they’re likely doing so only in relation to themselves in order to justify or normalize it.
Ex: Man, everyone is so obsessed with trying to write things in a way that doesn’t come off as pretentious but also does.
Gradually, I’ve begun dismantling my current room, and in doing so, have gradually begun dismantling myself.
Jammed against the wall is a bed frame created out of a pallet and a bookshelf in order to proudly display the material that the one occupying the bed reads.
Jutting out from beneath the bed is a drawer that doubles as a night stand covered by a Death Cab For Cutie book, in an attempt to espouse minimalism as well as failed attempts at it.
Above the bed hangs a flowery tapestry/shawl/cape, to disguise the mediocrity of beige apartment walls and everything associated with them.
Adjacent to it is an Evil Eye, a carnelian tree of life, and a golden collar whose owner remains unknown, warding off bad vibes and firmly planting the room in a state of confused-openness. Next to this, a sticky note in the design of an Iphone screen holds the instructions for “things to do today.”
In a nook created by the L shaped wall that makes the closet a closet, sits a small end table upon which a record player, a cup of incense, and a stack of short fiction greet visitors entering the room. Command-stripped to the wall above is a reversed Darjeeling Limited poster. Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman watch all that happens in this room.
These are the impressions I’ve made upon the wall, the floors, the ceiling. Months from now the room will be yet another chamber in the Great Chicago Maze. The search for permanence in an impermanent world goes on.