The first home in my life was in Abu Dhabi, which is in the UAE… you know, the United Arab Emirates… okay, I know, that country and city are both places that people have seldom heard of, let alone know of. So, I’m pretty confident in saying that nobody really knew my home the way that I did. I mean sure, I shared that quaint duplex with 3 young adults, and two major league ones but every one of us regarded that place with our own shade of glasses. I mean, I also have to say that there are always perks to being the youngest one in the room, for one the place seemed so huge and limitless when I was a kid… shame I can’t apply that to the two by four dorm I find myself in, year in and year out.
My imagination, however, evidently was even bigger than that house and it painted and molded so many landscapes and possibilities, that I really didn’t need much else for entertainment besides those three-stories. It was a place where my fantasies came to life, the setting of endless stories and oh so many precious memories. Every floor had its charms; in the first, there was the “green room“, which was aptly named because of the solitary green couch set that populated that small box of a room. It was the room where our housekeeper would bring us our favorite brand of chips and share stories of her childhood with us.
Then comes the second floor where my sisters’ bedroom was. I was a permanent yet often unwanted guest, but when I was lucky, it was where my sister would lock me out for about an hour to “build a new world,” each more exciting than the last. Heaven was created by locking the door, blasting the ac, throwing talcum powder over every surface and hanging cotton balls from the ceiling – courtesy of my “eccentric” teenage sister who also seemed to relish in delaying the boring rationale that came with being an adult.
Finally, there was the third floor, my headquarters. It was a library, a music room, and a place where I could be alone with my thoughts and often with the thoughts of the endless potential of the future. I would lie on a green mattress haphazardly balanced on a large stack of old furniture because we all wanted to take turns pretending we were the princess and the pea. And I would stare up at the ceiling, which then seemed so close I could touch it.
Magic really existed when I was a kid. I would just lie there. Curled up with a heap of books … constantly drifting until the slightly troubled voice of my mother would call out for me to come out of my recluse.
That home, that I am more familiar with than any other place on earth… well, it doesn’t exist anymore. No, not because somebody else lives there. Well, it’s because no one does.
I guess every city needs a shopping mall.