I lived in a house ALL my life until the day I got married when I started living in apartments. The first apartment we had together was smaller than the one we have now, was upstairs instead of downstairs and the landlady was atrocious. I am not overexaggerating either…she was miserably horrid. The maintenance men worked at 3 different apartments so whenever anything needed fixing, you had to wait forever. We lived with holes in our walls from leaks they had to fix for well over a month before they came to fix them. When they DID come to fix them, they showed up at 6 a.m. and got angry when we didn’t hear them!
Anyways, that’s old news. Our landlady here is so sweet and the maintenance man is so nice BUT I’m just not a big fan of apartment living. It’s a place to live so I’m thankful for that. Mainly I hate how the walls and windows seem to let in all the noises…..our upstairs neighbors like to wash clothes and vacuum in the middle of the night because she’s a nurse that works night shifts. I also hate how we are told 2 days before the exterminator is going to come and we have to empty out ALL kitchen cabinets and refill them..they come every 3 months. I realize the importance of this and I understand but it’s just very aggravating. When we first moved in, I had the cabinets all nice and orderly like I wanted them…now they are just set back in there however they will fit. It’s just too much trouble to do them all nice and perfect just to undo the hard work not too long afterwards. My mom suggested putting things in boxes and leaving them which I attempted but the boxes won’t fit in the cabinets right and I don’t want to have to pull a hefty box out all the time, search for what I need and stuff it back in, you know?
Unfortunately, this is just something I have to deal with and I’m thankful for a place to live that’s nice. Thankful for our landlady and maintenance man and overall, the few things that annoy me are worth it in the long run.
This morning I finished reading a book called “ROOM” by Emma Donoghue. To say this book was amazing would be an understatement for me. I’ve never done a book review before because it’s hard for me to adequately describe what a book is like in what I feel are the right words. I decided to attempt a small review for this one, though, simply because of the content and the emotional response it brought. Also because when I considered my measly apartment blues, thinking on this book made me realize how lucky I WAS.
This book is completely narrated by 5 year old Jack. Jack was born and has lived his whole life in an “11 by 11” space. That’s literally the only “world” he knows and he spends all his time with his Ma. When I started reading, it took me awhile to really get engrossed in it because this is a 5 year old speaking…I’ve babysat kids this age and played with them enough to know how they talk but I had never read a full length book that was in THEIR words. It was so uniquely different I didn’t know what to think but it was also enlightening. I caught myself reading the words slowly and really trying to envision things from a child’s eyes, things that I am so used to but a child is seeing new. Once I got about 40-50 pages in, I had grown to understand a lot of what Jack was seeing and was interested in his plight and what was going to happen next. Obviously, I knew by reading OF the book that something had to have happened for them to be in the situation but from the eyes of Jack, things seem to be hunky dory or perfectly fine and normal. It turns a story that could be quite horrific into a story that’s easier to take. I don’t want to give away how the book ends or anything but let’s just say it’s really intriguing seeing Jack’s different outlooks on things and how they change less than you would imagine.
I stayed up late into this morning finishing the book. I was completely held in the grips of the story and wanted to see it out to its end. As I finished the last sentence, I almost felt like I was saying bye to this little boy I had just spent so much time with and didn’t want to let go. It was a very powerful book and I would recommend it to anyone! I know a couple of my blogging friends had mentioned it on Goodreads. One had read it and the other, Jackie, is the one who first told me about it and how she wanted to read it. I normally stick with authors I have already grown to love but the premise of this book just intrigued me so, I had to read it.
The Ma in the story was my age, by the way….which makes me think….would I rather spend years living in an apartment that is far bigger than “11 by 11” and I am free to come and go as I please or years in a small room where the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom are all together and I have no freedom to see the outside world at all?
Of course I would pick the apartment….who wouldn’t? But the reality is there are tons of people in this world right now who are trapped in a small room with no freedom so I am SOOOO grateful for my apartment right now. I needed that perspective to show me that.