Monday, October 30, 2006
The paint on the wall had a smooth nubbly feel to it — very much the eggshell finish advertised on the paint can. Sometimes at night, in a fit of baffled sleeplessness, I’d find myself sitting up in bed, feeling the weight of my hair fall past my shoulders, the folds of my nightie being gently pulled to the mattress as I blindly reached out to the wall and passed my palm over the surface, fighting panic as I registered the silence and stillness of the house. The air seemed to be thicker, dense with hush, a loamy blanket woven from the entwined effluence of my parents’ sleep-controlled breathing. In the all-encompassing darkness, my room, the four walls, the house itself was now quite alien—cool, detached, an impassive monster that cared nothing for the playing, the talking, the quarreling, the little tasks and the daily rituals its occupants expended their lives on. These were the images that cluttered my dreams in exaggerated form, balloons inflated into bizarre shape by exotic gases.