New Memoir Tuesday (not to be confused with currently running memoir.) This weeks prompt was: Think of a room from your past. It can be any type of room at all. Take a mental picture of that room. What happened there? What is it like? What is the atmosphere there? What are the smells, the sounds, the sights? How does it feel? Now reveal that snapshot to your reader.
Take us to that room.
And try to do it in 750 words or less.
As always all concrit is welcome and helpful.
Using the wall to steady myself I descend the steep and slightly uneven stairs down to the basement and Dad’s workshop. The beige wall is both slicker and rougher under my hand then the walls upstairs. I’m not worried about falling because he’s right in front of me. The worst thing that can happen is that I’d fall into him and I’m not big enough to knock him over yet. Dad keeps telling me that I’ll be big enough one day, but ‘one day’ is taking a long time to get here.
The closer we get to the bottom of the stairs the more I can smell sawdust, machine oil and an underlying scent of Downy. The sunlight is filtering lazily through the slightly dirty windows and dust is swirling in slow circles lazy like this Sunday afternoon. Climbing up on my riser box I begin to clear a space on the tar paper covered workbench. Dad has built me riser boxes throughout the house, one in the kitchen, two in the bathroom and the long one here. He built them so I can reach the counters, brush my teeth and use the toilet. Dad goes over towards his end of the workbench to grab me nails, bits of left over wood and my hammer. I build kingdoms on the tar with these leftovers from his projects, using the nails to build walls to protect my castle.
“Ok, Jenny, stay still,” he says.
Familiar notes spin out into the air as the circular saw starts up and then a change in pitch as it begins to grind into a piece of wood that will soon become a new dining room cabinet. I stay still, staying safe. I didn’t ‘stay still’ not that long ago and ended up getting my fingers slammed in the top loading dishwasher. Flexing them I remember how much that hurt and how surprising it was.
While concentrating on standing still I can see the corner of the laundry chute and the table that rests underneath it. Today the door is shut on the chute as it has been since I started throwing things down it. I know I’m not supposed to but I get bored when my Mom makes me take my nap. I’m too old for naps and I already know all of my books by heart. Mom’s really mad at me right now because after I finally got Pooh Bear down the chute I put her stupid dog down it too. He was much harder to get down then I anticipated. I threw my biggest stuffed animals on top of him but he wouldn’t budge so I had go get the broom from the bathroom and the sink riser and shove him down myself.
“You could have killed him!” Mom kept saying over and over. But I don’t really see how with all the laundry and stuffed animals for him to fall on.
“What if the chute had been open? Did you even think of that?” She screamed at me. No, I didn’t think of that, but like I said, I did think to throw things down the chute before him for him to land on.
“Heartless little monster,” She muttered as she aggressively stroked Sigfried the Pekingese, who we all know she only got because Dad is allergic to cats and what she really wanted was a cat, so I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even love him that much. “Heartless. Little. Monster.” She said again. This time Dad smiled at me in that way that told me even though I was in trouble with her I wasn’t with him.
I hear a click and know that Dad has turned off the circular saw. The engine is slowing down and I can’t wait to get my hands on the fresh shavings that I use for grass or hay in my kingdoms. Fresh wood shavings are soft and smell so good before air and time takes away their scent and moisture.
“Ok, Jenny, you can move. It’s ok.”
Right now standing in the beam of white winter sunlight surrounded by the smell of carpentry and lording over today’s kingdom it is in fact ok, if not something akin to perfection.