There was a small room in the corner of our little home at 2683 in East Meadow. The room was equipped a with fish tank, a love seat, a small desk with a computer screen and keyboard on top. I had a small lava lamp on my desk (because why not?) and book shelf along the wall with shelves filled with books from the great poets, writers, and pictures of my life, my wife, and my family. I had a few of my accomplishments framed and placed on the wall. There was a document regarding The Old Man and his service to our country, which was signed in ink by the President of The United States of America, framed and hanging proudly on the wall. I called this place the writing room.
Each morning, I would walk down from my upstairs bedroom and then head into the kitchen. I pressed the magic blue button on my coffee machine and pour myself a cup. Tiki the Cat would come out from wherever she was hiding —which was usually underneath one of the chairs at the dining room table. Meanwhile, Roxxy the Dog would follow me around and wait patiently for one of her favorite dog treats.
The main front window to my home faced south. We lived on a quiet street, mid-block, across from an old tree, which I referred to often in my writings as my friend The Old Tree.
Beyond The Old Tree was a mainly unkempt house that belonged to a man, rarely home, and whose tenant was young, pretty girl that worked long, late hours while living rent-free in the poorly kept house —but yet, she drove perhaps one of the nicest BMW models I had ever seen. Of course, I am not suggesting that she performed or danced or wore sexy outfits to work for a specific reason. However, news that she danced a=on a stage would not have been surprising to me.
Beyond this from the view of my front window were the peaks of other homes that made up the side-street blocks on the southeast side of my old home town. And beyond them, a tall blue water tower from the neighboring town of Bellmore stood high above all with red flashing lights, blinking at the top.
Before entering my writing room, I would look through my front window at this world of mine. I looked at my friend The Old Tree with thanks because I saw him as a symbol of endurance.
In my eyes, the tree was a symbol of what it means to stand tall against all the weight of the world and to never fall —no matter what the weather brings, no matter what opinions are said, and whether the tree was seen as beautiful or ugly, wanted or unwanted; my friend The Old tree never fell down.
Even when the worst storms in our town’s history struck and all the younger, prettier, and seemingly healthier trees toppled, my friend The Old Tree didn’t lose so much as a limb. God, I loved that tree
After a few gulps of my coffee, I would head back to the corner room at the rear of my home. I looked through the back window, which faced the corner of my neighbor’s yard. I watched the birds perch on the power lines —and sometimes a cardinal would stop by to visit. I took in a deep breath, exhaled, and then I would let my fingers greet the keyboard to my computer.
I called this place The Writing Room because this is what I did here. This place was my own little sanctuary. I was the author here. It was up to me to write my future and rewrite my past. This is where I typed out a list of my dreams. This is where I wrote about the moving and emotional details in my life.
I wrote about my financial failures and my personal rise and rebirth. I detailed certain aspects of my life that stemmed from my proudest achievements, sexual experiences (both good and bad,) trials, pitfalls, and of course, this is where I penned my way through nearly a decade of my life.
Behind me, the fish tank gurgled and the fish swam around. The fish swarmed to the top of the tank, expecting to be fed, excitedly fluttering around and swirling around in a tall 45 gallon tank. And I learned from the fish. I learned about their community and forms of government, which was not unlike ours above theirs in the human world.
There were two big fish and a series of small, less aggressive fish. I can’t say I remember what kind of fish the big fish were —a cichlid of some kind. They were pretty but fierce. And the smaller fish were colorful but they were small and unthreatening and had no interest in political power.
The two big fish argued and fought over control and real estate. One of the two was biggest in the tank and was meanest to all. The second largest used to be the largest until it was outgrown by its enemy.
However, the smaller fish remembered the tyranny of their former leader of the tank. Therefore; there were no friends for the second largest fish. There was no love for it or anyplace of refuge.
Eventually, the biggest fish had its way and won control of the entire fish tank. The second larger fish died. The big fish was now the only big fish; however, the big fish had no idea what to do now that there was no one left to fight with. And he too (figuring if the fish was a “him,” that is) would try to intermingle with the other community fish but they would have no part of him.
I saw this as a perfect relation to life as we know it. We tend to fight a lot. We try to establish position and along the way, we tend to step on or hurt the others around us. But when the fight is over, we forget how to live without fighting. Meanwhile, those we return to still remember the scornful things we did or said —hence, this is the reason why they remain distant and this is why people find themselves alone.
A man can learn a lot by watching the life in a fish tank . . .
I went through several phases in my life. Some of them were good and others were less remarkable. Some of the phases were painful and others were glorious. This is why I heartily believe that life is and always will be cyclical.
The point being is we all need to understand how to ride the cycle; otherwise, when then fight is over or when the troubled times find a way to right themselves —we have to pay for the expenses of our poor choices. And this of all things is the truest of facts.
I started my day here in the writing room. Every morning, I came down to write my thoughts. I wrote passages and chapters to manuscripts and poems about my life or the life as I saw it. This place was my protection from the outside elements. No one could hurt me here. I was the author and the screen was my blank page. I was the creator here and as such, I had the ability to create a whole new world for me.
I miss that room
It didn’t matter what the world thought of me here. It didn’t matter what the critics said either. All that mattered to me was the cup of coffee, the screen in front of me, and the keys I typed my words on.
I dream about The Writing Room sometimes. These days, however, I have a loft in the upstairs of a much bigger home with a much different view. I have an old Church called old Wesley Chapel across from me instead of an old tree. I have a red-tailed hawk that flies overhead and a brown eagle that flies by once in a while. I have deer that come to visit the wooded side of my property, a small shed in the back, and mountains that run behind Old Haverstraw Road. Mine is the chalet home which I always dreamed about.
I still have my trusty computer though. I still have my computer screen, my coffee machine, and the keyboard which I type my words on. And I still have my dreams to write about. I am still the creator here and nothing outside or around me can change that.
I could use a lava lamp though . . .
I like lava lamps.