Headspace: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department write about a place or space they go to write, read, study or create. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]
At last I had the chance to get away from my parents, even if only for a couple months.
I printed pictures; bought candles, Blu-Tack and cheap decoration pieces from IKEA just like everyone else. Oh the bed-sheets! Don’t forget the bed-sheets. I asked myself, “Is this what it feels like to be an adult?”
I had to read my first Woolf novel at that time. Without much thought, I quickly succumbed to the idea that having a room to myself was empowering. Despite having to share the room with my German roommate, I was infatuated with the idea that “half of the room is mine.”
The impression of my roommate remains blurry even now: mumbling Chinese, video calls with his parents back in Germany and occasional sweet talks with his girlfriend.
A lot of the time, my roommate drew with my colourful markers on paper scraps. He would draw or write whatever came across his mind. Or simply copy phrases he stumbled across online. The playful yelling along the echoey hallways did not bother him much as long as he was in his own room.
The room. The books, the colourful markers screamed “Please stay!” when the golden summer sunset beams gently blanketed the desk. 6:15 p.m. followed by another 6:15 p.m. followed by another and another and another…
On the last day, my roommate packed my markers and the watch deadly read 6:15 p.m. The last sunset was awfully moving and also very dull.
Jeff Chow is a third-year student at the Department of English Language and Literature. When not reading, he is busy making puns. [Read all entries by Jeff.]