a clean room

Not necessarily well-lit, but certainly tidy and empty of my son. We moved Jake to the Chapel Glen dorms on August 18th, move-in day at the U of U. He sorted his clothes–giving some away and laundering the rest–dusted and vacuumed the space he’d dumped his stuff in. Candy from two Christmases ago attracting bugs; a calendar that Bubba peed on during last summer’s fireworks; an un-cashed check written on 12/10/14 to Ogden High Debate; detritus of a teenage boy’s progress from 11 to 18.

The summer after he turned 11 he picked out red for the walls and ceiling, lime green for the trim and doors. We gave away the little kid furniture and bought black Malm from iKEA. By 13, he needed darker curtains so he could sleep; by 15 he was bored with the colors; by 17 he’d stopped cleaning his room. Two days ago, he carefully dusted the knick-knacks on his shelves and moved the photos of his grandparents to his dresser. I washed his blanket, “nana,” with Grandma G’s patch of cherries, a repair to the fleece burned by standing too close to the gas fireplace. Nana stayed home yesterday.

I haven’t cleaned the bathroom…the one I cleaned four years ago when his dad moved out. I won’t fill in the empty spaces. Perhaps Maggie will do that this time. Like Henry did when Bubba left? We move in pairs. Inhabiting spaces in even numbers. The unevenness rankles. After my ex, we equilibrated with Charlie. We’ve been uneven since Bubba died in May. Jake’s departure restores the balance in our home. Maybe. I’m rationalizing to placate myself. A clean smaller nest.

About BJ

living the dream in northern Utah
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