#tbt short nonfiction from 2002

Photo source: picjumbo

Photo source: picjumbo


I had possessed three rooms throughout my childhood…

The first was green tapestry with paisley that I gladly covered with stickers, crayon markings, and posters of American cartoons. The bed was a bunk that I shared with no one. Its brownness begged me never to leave. I jumped on it so I could touch the white ceiling. I jumped so I could know how birds feel. The desk was beech wood with pigeonholes and hidden alcoves.

I hung pictures of angels and Mary. I loved her and prayed to her every night. I dreamed of God and his angels sang to me.

This room has a memory. It remembers rage, tears, and fright. It remembers love and want. I wanted a typewriter. I could write things. I thought I was good at it.

At nine I came to America.

The second room was white walls and one window that looked out at the moon. It was a bed crammed into the corner, a four-shelf bookcase, an overflowing dresser, and a seventy-five-dollar stereo. It was love written in pencil on the white. It was postcards from friends and posters of crushes. It was scented love letters and lipstick kisses on paper.

During the day, it was loud music and Emily Dickinson. At night, it was tears. It was heartbreak. It was seclusion. Why did my parents not love me? Why did God leave? I was good. I prayed. He never answered me.

At fifteen the bed was too small.

The third room was the largest. It was poster covered white walls and a street-viewing window. It was a thrift store desk and chair, that old bookshelf, a walk in closet, my grandfather’s handmade trunk, and a green panel with cranes. It was a bed that swallowed me whole and wouldn’t let me out for days.

It was stories of love and what I thought that meant. It was anticipated twists that never ended well. I hated happy endings.

It was staying out longer than allowed. It was secrets and unbuttoned shirts. It was confusion.

It was the inevitable end.

#tbt is about me sharing my old writing. This way you can get to know me better and where I’m coming from as a writer. It’s a vulnerable and humbling experience. I’ve learned a lot about myself just going through my old stuff and most likely this exercise benefits me the most. Here’s where I’d like to change that. Please share some your own #tbt writing in the comments below. You can just paste it in if it’s short enough or add a link.

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