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.]
General sloppiness, or rather, selective organizational skills, have left my room the way it is now. Bookshelves crammed with more than just books (sacrilegious—I know!); desk reduced to storage space for years’ worth of files, notes, magazines, to-do lists; and everything perpetually covered with dog hair.
As it is, I spend much time working on the dining table in the next room. But when that becomes too destructive (for one should never underestimate my ability to clutter up space), I am forced to retreat to a corner of my bed where I read, think, and scribble.
Ideas come at unexpected moments. I remember once opening my eyes, hours before dawn, only half woken from a dream, scattering debris as I groped around for something to write with. Hours later when I finally woke up, I found a page half-torn, full of barely decipherable letters (and as it often happens—I have long since lost the paper and its contents.)
The bedroom window is positioned near the foot of my bed and overlooks an alleyway between our neighbor’s house and ours. The view consists of a square of wall in all its uneven, whitewashed glory (ours is the same). Each night when I lean over to draw the curtains, I get a glimpse through their window into their kitchen, where colorful alphabet magnets are lined up neatly, or sometimes untidily, on the refrigerator door. I think of Clarissa as she watches the old woman in the house opposite hers climb the stairs. Another space, another time.
Grace Wong Hiu Yan is a graduate student in literature at the Department of English (Class of 2016). She loves the smell of old books and has unconventional ideas for bookmarks. She is one of the founding co-editors of EDGE. [Read all entries by Grace.]