Paint It Black

Five years ago I was in this room. Those were the nights we drank cases of Ballentine’s beer in cans and listened to Psychic TV, Chrome, Bomb, just about any kind of obscure industrial music, and lots of gothic death rock. We’d make beer runs and see if we could make it back to the house on the 23rd minute of the hour. Back then the B Street gang first exposed me to the Enigma of 23. It was an inside joke of sorts at the house.

My favorite thing about this bedroom is the roof access. There’s bay windows down one wall and you can open the one up on the far left and climb out onto the roof. At night no one can see you sitting there. During the summer months it’s peaceful to sit on the roof with a clove cigarette and a glass of wine and watch people and cars pass by. Five years ago, the street below was one way only. After the bars would close a drunk or two would go down the road in the wrong direction and crash into someone head-on. We saw that happen frequently from our rooftop perches. Traffic flows in both directions in front of the house now. Probably cuts down on the late night drunkard accidents.

The first day I started moving in, I opened up the bedroom closet door and found my name written near the top of the door frame with about five other guys names. They all used to live or hang out here. That brought back a few memories. The six of us used a machete to put a deep cut into the door frame, and we put our names next to the gouge we made. It’s all still here.

I was confused when I saw the bedroom was covered in dirt-brown carpet. It used to be bright blood red. I cut up one corner of the carpet and was happy to discover the blood red carpet was underneath. I spent one whole afternoon carefully cutting the brown junk and rolling it up to haul it out. Some fool had laid TV cable all over the place and I had a hell of a time pulling it up from underneath the carpeting and getting rid of it.

The walls in here were a harsh white and made of plaster. I need to sleep during the day because of my work schedule. I threw out the curtains and the sunlight flooded in through the street side windows. It reflected off the walls and made it very bright in the room. My solution to cut down on the sunlight was to paint the walls and the ceiling flat black. It took me a few days as I didn’t have anybody help me with the work but it was well worth it. At night it’s like sleeping inside a cave. The crystal door knob on my bedroom door gives the illusion of floating in dark space. The pictures I hung on the walls appear to be hovering, motionless. A few people told me that painting everything black would make the room look much smaller, but I couldn’t disagree more. At night it looks cavernous. I’m sleeping alot better during the afternoon now. Black paint absorbs the sunlight effectively and I won’t have to buy new curtains. The old curtains were disgusting. They were once white but after years of cigarette smoke and dust collecting on them they turned a nasty orange yellow color.

The landlord never comes by the B Street house and her property manager runs the house with a very loose hand. I asked her if I could repaint my room and she said no problem. I simply forgot to mention what color I was going to paint it…

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~ by factorypeasant on September 14, 2004.

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