Sunday, May 09, 2010

On the wall

Today's prompt for our Writing Salon's 12-minute piece of writing is "On the wall."

Today is Mother's Day, and so I'm going to write about my mom, who died 6 months ago.

I always liked to draw on walls. In my bedroom as a kid, I drew on the walls so much that my dad painted one whole wall of my bedroom with dark green chalkboard paint. That way I could use one whole wall to draw on all I wanted. When I was older and moved to a bedroom upstairs, I still couldn't help drawing on the wall by my bed. I drew on it so much that my parents bought a roll of adhesive backed plastic and adhered it to the wall to cover over what I had drawn. It was the same color aqua as the walls in my room, only it had little speckles all over it.

So I now I became obsessed with connecting the dots, or speckles, and making things out of the shapes.

Then when my dad died and we moved, I would draw on the wall when I was talking on the phone. I was 12 or 13, and when I got a phone call, I would go into the hallway to the basement where I felt I had some privacy and close the door. I'd sit on the stairs and talk on the phone and draw characters on the walls.

My mom was not pleased.

Then an amazing thing happened. She talked to a counselor about it. I don't know if she was seeing a counselor for herself, or for the problems she was having being a single parent of two troublesome daughters--I guess it's one and the same. But she came to me one day and said that her counselor had asked her to consider her rage about her elder daughter's drawing all over the walls. She said that her counselor had suggested that she might want to value the drawings. (Imagine that! I can't.)

When told me that, I have to admit it touched me. Even as a spiteful 13-year-old.


The drawing above is one I did on a napkin one evening when I was visiting my mom (much later). I threw it away and Mom got it back out of the trash.