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Music In My Pink Room
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Music In My Pink Room
A personal reflection about a girl and how muic and her mother affected her young life.
[1,443 words]
[March 2001]
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Nick (Non-Fiction) A short story about young first love written in a young girls perspective. [1,063 words] [Relationships]
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Music In My Pink Room

Mom heard me sing, and I listened to her music as well. Music was always there for me, and was always clear with its influence and meaning. It was a huge part of my childhood, and was a necessity in our house. This is where joy and love came out of my mother, and into our home. Mom was a very musical woman. She sang fearlessly, and she danced around the house as she cleaned; I think it kept her sane. She would sit all night with her wine, Stevie Wonder, Heart, and Janis Ian albums, playing song after song. This is what made her happy and what bonded our little family. Music brought clean and beautiful words and songs to our chaotic lives and taught us about life. Although I cannot say I always appreciated it. At times I wished she would turn it off, or lower the volume, because it was always on as loud as possible. Adrian and I would yell at her, and slam our doors to get away from it, and it went on for hours some days, we even went to sleep with music on.

There was often a separation between what she liked and what I liked as a teenager. Things I thought were so “uncool” to listen to, like Credence Clearwater and Fleetwood Mac drove me nuts. I thought this stuff was just depressing and loud. Other times, without even knowing it, her music inspired me, and made our house come together as a unit. Some of the music was just hers and some was all mine. I had a place to go every day, and so did she, into our own world of music. She ran to Ella Fitzgerald and I ran to Public Enemy. She loved to sing Sinatra and I loved to sing Prince.

There were many nights where she sat with me and played songs for me and read the lyrics to me. She made me pay attention to the words and the sounds, and the instruments. “Hey Del, did you hear that? What instrument was that? Or “Dely, isn’t that just beautiful, the way that cello sounded, didn’t it make you feel good?”

Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Janis Joplin and Joni Mitchell, and countless other albums spread widely across the living room floor. They were all planted in my ears as a child. There were nights where she sat and sang those songs to me, or those times I was in my room and I could hear her music through the walls. The nights we acted out this old Neil Diamond song, it was about a Lion, I think. We would sing and yell out the lyrics and sit in the dark as it rained outside. We would act out scenes from Peter and the Wolff. I was always the duck, and my brother was always Peter. Mom dedicated songs to us, she would kiss me and tell me, “Hey this reminds me of you Delaine, you are the sunshine of my life” And I would always wipe away her kisses and say, “how corny mom, stop it, leave me alone!”

These were happy times; the music filled days inspired me. I wiped away kisses and told her “I hate that song!” but it is funny how I ran to my room everyday too, to do just what mom did, play loud music, music that filled me and made me feel good. As much as she annoyed me with her Simon and Garfunkel albums, I still run home to turn the music on. I read album covers and lyrics. I sing and dance around the house. Music even inspired me to go to Music And Art for vocal training. Mom prepared me to sing, “You’ve Got A Friend” written by Carole King, for my audition and I made it in.

Many events in my life on Bennett Avenue are tattooed with songs. After school times alone, my first kiss, the first time I made love, best friends hanging out, lost relationships I sat home crying over with the radio on, prom night, and Sundays. These were the days where music played all day, and also when we fought most often about things. Sundays seemed to last forever in my house. Adrian and I did our chores, laundry, dishes, mom read the Sunday Times, and organized the closets. Adrian watched football and I walked around sulking, complaining about everything and nothing.

One Sunday, Adrian lost it; I think he cried like three times in the span of my whole childhood. That day I remember Adrian slamming this jar full of coins right to the floor and he was crying. He thought things were unjust between him and I, and he wanted to be treated fairly. His face was tense, he clenched his up his fists and then he slammed the jar to the floor. Coins and broken glass were all over the floor. Then we were all sitting there, picking each coin up, one by one, in silence. He was sobbing, choking, his face was wet, and his arms were shaking above me. I just remember the pain, and the silence, and the glass jar shattering all over the floor. I felt so badly for him, seeing such a strong figure in my life, break up like that. I felt so guilty for hurting him.

Sunday breakfast was another Bennett Avenue event. Us three would be sitting at the table, radio on in the living room, eating, preparing this big breakfast, to sit down and talk. But, an argument would start about who did what and who had more eggs. It never failed, Sunday breakfast ruined. The next thing I knew, Mom was up, yelling, the dishes and the breakfast would fly into the sink and forks would fly. Mom was off to her room, where she would keep yelling out loud to herself for what felt like hours. She was the same mom who sang to me, and told me I was special, so I never quite understood why that love often turned to fighting over who eats what and who cleans what. This was just how we communicated to each other, we yelled. It was all done out of habit, including the times I started the fights, or when Adrian behaved like an asshole. It was not Mom’s fault; we just did not know how to talk. On these days the music we shared became bitter to me, because Mom would run to her room after yelling at us, and blast the music so loud, she made me hate it.

As a girl I ran to my pink room I sat and listened to “my” music, and wrote in my notebooks, to get away from what was behind the slammed door. I slammed it shut all the time after yelling and fighting and rebellion and then I isolated myself into this little Delaine world. My room, posters and tapes scattered all over, words on pages with tearstains spilled out of me. Cigarettes, and a joint filled my time alone in my room, eighteen and all alone. Music was my best friend, as it had always been my mothers.

Now I know why. It was an escape from people, from noise, from authority, reality.It was a helpful escape from a loud life. Music took me away to a place I fit into, a place where I felt safe. I listened to constant words of wisdom when I was a teenager, searching for signs, support, and inspiration from this music, from these people I did not know.

I slammed my door, ran to my tapes and blasted out in wanna be rebellion, I was fifteen listening to Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, Sinead O’Connor “wrist slitting music” mom called it. I was eighteen and these people saved me from slitting my wrists, mom never could understand that. INXS, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, Sting, I can’t even name all those that filled my days and nights. There were my “freestyle days” with Stevie B. and India and my depressed black stage with the Smiths, and the Cure, my old love song days with Air Supply, Chicago and Pat Benetar. There was everything and anything in my house, if you got a chance to listen in. My mom even made me like some country music singer, Patsy Cline when she sang the song called “Crazy.” Crazy, Crazy for feeling so lonely. I trusted in this music, they were my heroes, they felt what I felt, and they understood me. They knew what it was like to be me, when no one else did.



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September 2003

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