They say to paint your room with bright colors. Colors that will excite you, motivate you, make you happy every time you wake up. Yellow is one of those colors, they say. Well, I’ll never have yellow walls; don’t be ridiculous.
I grew up with gray walls and then eventually deep, Margot red walls, until I was stuck under four very white and very daunting walls down the street from the happiest place on Earth. No amount of vintage posters and paintings could salvage the nothingness of that room. That part of town is a big bubble of illusion and frankly, it makes me a little sick to think I wasted a year of my life there.
But things changed, finally. I moved back to where it all began into a sweet and cozy little tree house four blocks from the beach. I begged him to go out there and find us a home. He delivered and even my dreams couldn’t have found us a better place, a better home.
The first time my eyes met our new walls, we crept around in darkness with flashlights in our hands. I could see the colors faintly peeking out underneath the shadows, but all I really saw was night. The viewing process continued slowly through a week of after-work mini-moving trips going back and forth down the 22, the 405, 7th St., etc. I finally became face-to-face with the green, teal, and yellow of the walls, but it didn’t feel right yet. It was always still night.
Suddenly it was Friday and the time had come to move my cheap and cumbersome Swedish bed from one apartment to the other. The day began early and bright surrounded by the infamous white walls. I jumped out of bed, dragging him with me. Within the hour I was moving boxes in and out and up and down as my father pieced together the black-brown wood. Morning soon became the afternoon and the afternoon quickly became night again.
We spent our first night together. Not that we hadn’t slept next to and near each other before, but it was the first night in our home, a place that finally, and hopefully for a long time, has both of us and our things under one roof.
We both slept weird and uncomfortably. The mattress was hard, roughed up from the move, yet something happened when I opened my eyes the next morning. I was no longer looking at an empty room, but a yellow room. It felt like the sun was hanging from our ceiling. As if we were going from sleep to consciousness on clouds in the sky. I got out of bed and despite the restlessness of waking up in a new place, I was happy.
I walked into the living room and was greeted with another beautiful array of teal walls and cardboard boxes. I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and found lime green walls dancing around me. But, what about the bathroom? Green as well, but a different one. Imagine all the colors in the world: why limit yourself to just one version?
Now I find myself waking up each and realizing, shit, they were right. Bright walls, clothes, what have you, surround your life with color and you’ll be happy. And finally, I am. I feel like the search is over and I no longer have to hunt down that lost childhood version of what a home is. We’ve found it hidden in the back and up to the left surrounded by a multitude of color and cabinets that never seem to close all of the way. It feels pretty damn good.