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Lifestyles Archives: Boy's Rooms

The Nebraska Bedroom Massacre
Georgina Lord

...instantly all your fears are realised

It could be a scene from a horror movie. You’re in small-town America, surrounded by corn fields, isolated and empty. There’s an eerie silence that hangs in the air and is only disturbed by the sound of a pick-up truck passing by on the long, straight road in the distance. The camera pans across a neighbourhood street and zooms in on house number eleven-hundred. The door opens, you’re dragged inside by your curiosity, and you descend the cold cement steps into the basement where a lonely light bulb swings mysteriously from the ceiling, disturbed by someone or something that had just slipped by unnoticed.

There’s a door, a room, what could be inside? A sliver of light is cast in a line towards your feet, and you follow it hesitantly. You reach the door, you open it slowly, and instantly all your fears are realised. Lying on the floor, in a thick, hovering stench, are pairs and pairs of crusty boxer shorts.

This was how I was first introduced to my boyfriend’s bedroom. It didn’t seem to bother him that in order to get inside the room I, his beloved girlfriend, had to step on his surely-mouldy-by-now underwear, with just a cute purple trainer sock to protect me from any undiscovered diseases which may be lurking within. Surely he felt ashamed?...Nope, he waltzed right in and demanded that I make myself at home. Home? You want me to make myself at home? Well, first of all I’ll need a trash bag and a litter picker to remove those smelly offenders from the otherwise only slightly stained carpet. What he actually meant was, go and sit on my bed whilst I light a candle and turn on ‘our’ song. I resisted the womanly urges to tidy up, and complied, and as I glanced around the room, I was strangely moved by its disordered beauty.

Very little light penetrated the darkness as no window was present in this underground basement. Its dim quality was almost sexy, and with the two candles flickering on the bedside cabinet, a romantic mood had replaced the initial disgust I had felt. I gazed in awe at the artistic nature of all that adorned the walls in this cramped, but intimate setting. Old black and white posters of The Beatles were stuck next to prints of famous Van Gogh paintings. They weren’t hanging completely straight, but were thoughtfully spaced and had obviously been there a while. Guitars, new and old, electric and acoustic, were haphazardly leaning against piles of old LPs. Pages of lined notebook paper had been torn out and left on the cabinet bearing half written songs, and were gradually getting lost under plectrums and loose change that could easily amount to $10. Two copies of “Catcher In The Rye” by J.D.Sallinger, Eric’s favourite novel, were poking out from behind a box of CDs, and in the corner, in a special clearing, a pin-board bearing photos and sketches of me was placed against the wall.

His gentle touch awoke me from my stunned silence. Despite his conventionally male behaviour of leaving dirty clothes on the floor, Eric was a fine example of artistic sensitivity. The room now reeked of creativity and depth, two aspects of his personality that had drawn me to him in the first place. My ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ had been transformed into a romantic comedy, and all I wanted to do was sink further into his utopia.

It could have been a scene from a horror movie, but in the light of art, it was nothing less than a young man’s inner self stamped on the confines of four walls and one floor.

© Georgina Lord November 2003

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