PAY DAY THURSDAY: Guest Blogger Post
Thank you to everyone who submitted posts. There were so many wonderful posts to choose from. I linked back to everyone’s articles at the bottom of the post. If it was an original post I linked back to their main page on their blog. Please give their blogs a look.
While reading this post I was captivated. I kept going back to it. It was full of voice, I could hear Kevin speaking through the words. This post made me think. It was engaging. It was curious. I found myself thinking about Alice in Wonderland it was curiouser and curiouser. The mind and the memory are fascinating to me.
I’d like to introduce you to Kevin Brennan from the blog What the Hell. He is originally from St. Louis, MO, and now lives in Petaluma, CA.
Here is Kevins Post:
Here’s a strange phenomenon. It occurred to me last night that I can’t remember a lot about many of the houses I’ve lived in since I was a kid. I can easily, and in plenty of detail, recall certain parts of them all, but I can’t seem to do a mental walk-through and point out where closets were or what kind of knobs they had, what the baseboards were like, the window hardware, how many steps to the second floor. It’s as if my brain has erased the transitional spaces — in particular, the nooks and crannies and all those little things we take for granted every day because they’re in the background.
One house in particular is a real blur. My family lived there for only a few months when my mother couldn’t afford the mortgage on the one home we’d really gotten used to. (Not her fault, by the way. Long story.) The new place was a rental in a different part of the county, meaning that we’d be going to a new school on top of the fact that we didn’t much like the house itself. There was a strange divider between the living room and kitchen, a bizarre red (or was it amber?) Plexiglas thing, but I can’t remember which side of the room it was on. I can’t recall the kitchen cabinets or the tile — a dull beige or dingy white vinyl more than likely. I can’t remember what the front window looked like, or the color of the living room walls, nor do I see much detail heading down the hallway toward the bedrooms, of which I think there were three. How they were laid out I have no idea whatsoever. Odd.
The thing I remember most about the house was the garage, which had been converted to a bedroom. I dibbed it because I liked the idea of extra privacy, and I thought the old red Persian rug in there was exotic. It was going to be my teen sanctuary. The walls were of a rough gray stone about waist high, then a cheap, dark-wood paneling from there to the ceiling. Where there’d once been the garage door was now an entire wall of that stone, which gave the room a solemn air, like a church or courthouse.
The unforeseen problem was that it was unheated. Mom got me a second-hand space heater to use on cold nights, but I was always afraid it would burst into flames while I was asleep, and I usually turned it off after a while. When I couldn’t tolerate it any longer, I offered the room to my brother, Joe, who was excited to take it off my hands.
That’s when I moved to a bedroom in the back corner of the house, which I only remember because it had windows on two walls. Or did it? Maybe I’m mixing it up with another room from another house. I do know its walls were painted a sickly shade of sky blue, which I hated, but I didn’t want to spend the time painting it myself.
The bath tub in that house was infested for a few weeks with roly poly bugs. Dozens at a time. We had to scoop them out and flush them down the toilet before we could take a bath. That I remember.
And another thing I definitely remember is the adhesive carpet squares Mom got to cover the bedroom floors, which were ancient, warped linoleum, I think. The carpet squares were a pukey moss green the texture and consistency of thick felt. I think I can recover the smell of them too. Not good. Armpit soup.
There are other places I’ve lived that I can’t piece together completely, but this place might as well be a ghost house. Probably says more about my state of mind when I lived there than anything else. A strange feeling, though, all these years later, to realize that I walked through that front door a few hundred times but remember so little about it.
Maybe that’s a blessing. Thanks, memory.
Thank you so much for the wonderful post and thank you for allowing me to post it here. I’m very grateful. Keep up the fantastic writing. Cheers, Jennifer
Once again thank you so much for your submissions. There are others to add to the list who did not include their blog address. There were 18 in total.
Great post Kevin and great blogs all!!
A wonderful read. You are right Kevin. What a person remembers, and what they remember says more about them than the memory itself. I gather, from what you revealed, that you are a person who sees adventure everywhere but still craves to feel security. What a wonderful person to be. 🙂
Congratulations Kevin! Indeed a great post!
Congrats! I also think about those things. I can see many details my childhood homes quite clearly, from about age 5, so 55 years later, I could sit down and sketch the layout. I think artists, writers and creative folks remember visually. I know I do.
Great, evocative post. Loved that Nabakovian title
Thank you, everyone!