Monday, December 12, 2005

Room of the Virgins

I don’t understand my new curtains. But I am in slow-motion right now - my head is full of snot, courtesy of a sinus infection I caught by kissing the charming but infected Scorpio. There is also a virus party at Hotel Linda and the guests, from the feel of it, are frat boys.

I have time to contemplate curtains and it’s an activity that suits my current energy levels.

I’ve always longed to have one of those cool, uncluttered homes you see in decorating and architectural magazines. However, as my ex-husband put it, my own inadvertent and extremely random decorating style is, “Linda’s Curio Shop.”

I am not only a producer of curios, I am a hopeless collector. I have beautiful things: various handmade bowls (filled with stones), a fine ceramic teapot glazed in shades inspired by Monet’s paintings of his garden. My father’s landscape and flower watercolors hang on my walls, along with a vivid framed pastel of my own. I have a black & white section in my hallway – photographs of dancers mostly, from the time when I worked at a dance school. My dining “area” is full of huge plants - and nothing else except stones.

And then there’s the six inch stack of brightly dyed popsicle sticks, tied in flats, which raised a siren call when I walked by them in the dollar store. A rubber Energizer bunny flashlight rests on one end of my bathroom towel rack. I’m addicted to pine and wicker and the kinds of bright, saturated colors manufacturers recognize as beloved by small children. I display blue dollar store bottles and cheap paper fans with the same respect as I do the more exclusive (and possibly more tasteful) things I own. I am utterly democratic when it comes to evaluating the beauty and worth of stuff.

Back to the curtains. The blue-grey ones faded in their middles to a pink-mauve and the other day, I yanked them down. I bought paper-thin, white, gauzy cotton replacements and hung them. I opened the windows and watched them waft. I studied the view outside my window through them.

The next day, I bought two more for the kitchen window and two to hang in the door of my workroom. I needed more wafting white, it seems.

And in a sop to the season, a kind of truce between me and Christmas, I binged at the dollar store. Now, between the white curtains, there are five largish, muted silver and gold Christmas tree balls, hanging in a row at the top center of the window. Above them, I’ve taped and pinned a small arch of white, fabric poinsettias with deep green leaves. I’ve hung smaller silver balls on my umbrella leaf philodendron. No red. Red is banished. We are having an ungaudy moment here.

The room changes utterly with the curtains, especially when it begins to snow. White curtains, white snow, white flowers. And when I look down the hallway at the curtains in my workroom door, I decide that I’ll say to anyone who asks, Oh. That? That’s where we keep the virgins.

Don’t ask me, Lucas. I have NO idea where that came from.