Friday, August 24, 2012
I toured the empty rooms one last time. There were the drops of nail polish – in Barbie pink – that were never removed. Over there, the horrible dark oily stain of a lava lamp gone rogue. Foot prints, cleat prints, tap shoe prints… they were all there. The ugly faded beige carpeting in the upstairs bedrooms that held so many memories had arrived at its final day. Old and worn when we moved in 18 years ago, the carpet was washed and vacuumed insistently in a futile attempt to return to its once glamorous days. It never did. Rather, it served as the setting for innumerous doll plays and Lego buildings for one season, and later on for laying on to listen or play music, whisper with friends and do homework. The ugly carpet has held onto those memories as it did dog hair and dust. By a corner is a coffee stain left by a now deceased grandmother, next to the windowsills is oopsie paint blotches of an art project, and yet in another spot are the burn marks by a forgotten hair straightener. A young man gingerly pulls up a swath of the carpeting and rolls it up to one side, and the past unravels just a bit more and fades a little further. Soon, the floors will gleam with newly polished hardwood. No longer will I be able to stealthily tip toe into the rooms, the wood floors echoing our every steps. Goodbye, horrible carpet. I’ve dreamt of this day for so long! But first, let me take a moment to honor the memories, the secrets, the stories you witnessed and absorbed.