Thursday, May 13, 2010

Long Term Implications of Decorating

The thing about Oakland is that you have Universities with their students and faculty, and you have Western Psych, with current patients in the hospital buildings and many former, indigent patients living out on the Oakland streets.

About 15 years ago I was walking to work and stopped to check the progress painters were making on a little row of about 5 very sweet Victorian houses—not mansions, just little working class houses that an otherwise heartless realty/landlord company had bought up. Standing a little away from me was this painfully thin, dirty and dusty old man. He had a shock of unwashed white hair going every which way, no teeth. He also looked like he’d been smoking so long his skin was starting to fossilize. He, too, was watching the painters, who were working with a bunch of different colors all at once—purple, blue, ochre, pink. The guy started to walk away and then stopped in the middle of the street and yelled at the top of his lungs, “THOSE ARE FAIRY TALE COLORS!!!”

Why bring this up? First, I saw a pink and blue house today and heard that guy’s voice in my head. Second, what is Donovan going to remember about his childhood? Not so much factually but what likes/impressions is he going to carry with him? Whatever life had done to that old man in Oakland, and it did look like he’d been thru a mangler or two, there was something left in him that saw those colors in those tones and clicked. I wonder if he was picturing books from his childhood in his mind. I’ve gotten a few beautiful volumes of children’s poetry from the 19teens, 20s and 30s off of Ebay and he was right: those were exactly Fairy Tale Colors.

We will be redoing Donny’s room fairly soon and I know we need to Big Boy it up a little bit. I am also cognizant of the fact that he is a boy. But would a few Fairy Tale Colors be such a bad thing?

1 comment:

mlb said...

faerie tale colours are a wonderful idea! i'm picturing, though, a much more "jazzy" theme to donovan's room.