The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

A Room of My Own


Virginia Woolf said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own to write fiction.

I finally have a room of my own. It has a blow-up mattress on the floor and is closer to the ground than I remembered it would be. I looked at Japanese sleeping mats but the price put me off. I hope this mattress does not spring a leak with the added pressure of Caleb’s jumping feet. I slept for a few weeks behind open windows as if I were still back a long country lane without peepers. Yet, I often thought of peepers in Cowansville when I went into the bathroom with its open blinds. There were always Roy’s hunting friends coming and going on the property. Anyone might be coming through the woods or down the barn road. And here I felt hidden by lying near the floor while the view of the room from the street was held back by a small porch and a misshapen shrub intervening. But I finally bought curtains, spa blue. I settled for them; I wanted bright orange or some psychedelic bright pattern.

It can be noisy here at night especially in my room closest to the street noises. The cars race at night-time speeds. I hear sirens of the police and firemen and helicopters flying over on the way to the hospitals. There are no barking dogs or howling of coyotes though. Dogs are tucked away for the night in the houses. But none of this noise disturbs my sleep. It lulls me like the passing trains at the apartment we rented in Fenelton or the running fan in my window as a girl on Bear Street bringing in the cold night air while I cuddled up under blankets rather than silence it. It’s the silence that brings imaginings of the mind. It is contradictory that people told me that they would be afraid to be alone in Cowansville but also say that they would be afraid in the city. Afraid to be without people and afraid to be with them.

I finally have that room of my own though Caleb does not respect my closed door. He thinks the world is wide open to him.


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