On Vashon there is a small house, with a small red and white room. The furniture doesn’t match and there are scratch marks across the floor, like the furniture was moved around a lot. The room was more like an attic, and if you didn’t know it was my room you would have thought so. It had a slanted roof and two small windows that no longer opened. In the middle of the summer it would get so hot you wouldn’t be able to breathe, and in the winter you would have to wear slippers just so you could feel your feet. In the middle of the room there was a black punching bag. It had names of all of the people I hated on it. It was almost full. There was a small bed in the corner between what you would call a clothes rack and the bloody hand mark on the wall. The room smelled bad. To be exact it smelled of a hermit crab left in a jar to mold for two years.
I hated that room, and not just because it was hot and smelled bad, but because of the tear-soaked pillows and fear I got every time I walked into the room. Even when I had friends over, which was rare. I would steer clear of the room. There was only two things in that room that had meaning, the six shelves of empty alcohol bottles I would collect from my neighbor’s house, and the pictures of my family on the wall across with their eyes scratched out.
The kitchen was just down the stairs, and when someone cooked the smells would travel up the stairs and into the room. Despite my efforts to keep people out of that room, whether with blue tape on the ground, or multiple signs on the door, my mother would always let my neighbor into my room. I hated him, and every night I came to hate him more.
His name was the biggest on the punching bag next to my mom’s names and my dad’s, and mine. I hated myself, mostly because of what others said, and whatever was left of my self-esteem was torn away when I tried to pick up a book or do my homework.
Whenever I would enter the room and lay on the bed I would feel like a child. And looking at the broken door from the night before would make me shudder, and curl up in the fetal possession.