Last week Crazy Lady was greedily eyeing Teen Spirit’s bedroom. She even went in there a few times taking measurements and trying out paint chips. In just over a month, Teen Spirit will be leaving for college in the Midwest and, she reckoned, he won’t be needing his room anymore.
Smartmom kept telling Crazy Lady to stay out of there, to mind her own business, to leave well enough alone.
But Crazy Lady doesn’t listen. Besides, she thinks when Teen Spirit leaves they should turn his room into something useful.
“It could be a meditation room,” Crazy Lady told Smartmom. “You could paint the walls white and get the floors redone.”
Actually, Smartmom liked the idea of a meditation room. An oasis of serenity and mindfulness in her own home would be such a luxury…
But then she snapped out of her reverie.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Smartmom told Crazy Lady. “Teen Spirit will always have a bedroom in this apartment.”
“But he barely uses it as it is,” Crazy Lady told Smartmom. “You could put a shrine over here with a Buddha statue and an incense holder. Your meditation pillow could go here…,” Crazy Lady told Smartmom.
“That’s out of the question,” Smartmom screamed. “He’s just going to college. He’ll be coming home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and summer vacation!”
Crazy Lady rolled her eyes.
“He can sleep in a sofa bed when he comes home,” she told Smartmom. “Then you could turn his room into an entertainment center. Get a video projector, a screen and you’d be set to watch all the Coen Brothers, Almodovar and Woody Allen movies you want. You could even get a recliner.”
The idea of a screening room was pretty tempting. Smartmom could almost see herself melting into a down-filled couch indulging her cinematic interests.
But then she snapped out of that reverie, too.
“A recliner. You’ve really lost it, Crazy Lady,” Smartmom screamed out.
“All right. You could turn his room into your office. Put a writing desk against this wall and a bookcase here. It could be very writerly. A real study…,” Crazy Lady told Smartmom.
Truth be told, that didn’t sound so crazy. Smartmom thought of all the money she spends on an office outside of the apartment. If she took over Teen Spirit’s bedroom she could actually work at home, save money.
But then she snapped out of even that reverie, too.
“You’re nuts, Crazy Lady,” Smartmom spewed out. “You know I can’t work at home. It’s too distracting. I do all my best writing at the office. If I tried to work at home, I’d end up washing dishes, filing papers, cleaning the toilet, anything but writing.”
“OK, OK. You could turn his room into a gym. Get mats, weights, even a Stairmaster and a stationary bicycle. Think of what good shape you’ll be in…”
Smartmom liked the idea of having an at-home gym. She loved the idea of being in good shape. She belongs to a local health club, but Buddha knows she’s not very disciplined about making time to get over there. Maybe a gym in her apartment…
Smartmom snapped out of her reverie.
“You really are crazy, Crazy Lady,” Smartmom yelled out. “I like all those sweaty bodies at the gym; all the collective energy and endorphins.”
That seemed to shut her up Crazy Lady for a while. Smartmom sat on Teen Spirit’s bed. She fingered his old down comforter and orange bedspread. She patted his super soft pillows and hugged Pokey, the cuddly stuffed bear he’s had since he was 1. She looked up at all of his guitars hanging on the wall and “The Old Man and the Sea,” “The Stranger,” “The Phantom Tollbooth,” the Harry Potter books and the Series of Unfortunate Events on his bookcase. Finally, her eyes settled on the teenage poetry and graffiti, the comics and drawings on his walls.
Smartmom found herself feeling immeasurably sad. Teen Spirit had lived in this room since he was 3 years old. In a few weeks, he’d be off to college. Smartmom wasn’t sure she was ready to let him go. And she certainly wasn’t ready to turn his room into something new.
“Hey, I’ve got another great idea,” Crazy Lady burst in. “You could turn this into a guest room. You always said that you wished you had somewhere to comfortably put guests…”
Smartmom took one of Teen Spirit’s wingtip shoes and threw it at Crazy Lady.
“Get out of here and don’t come back. I need this to be Teen Spirit’s room for a very long time. He’s only going to college…”
“I know. He’ll be coming home on vacations.” Crazy Lady sighed. She sat down next to Smartmom and put her arm around her shoulder. Smartmom eyed her suspiciously.
“What are you doing, Crazy Lady?” Smartmom asked her. “You’re being so, well, nice.”
“I may be crazy, but I can be empathic, too, you know.”
“I guess,” Smartmom said a little nervously. “I guess.”