(This is the sixth chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)
My bedroom, aka, The Taj Mahal.
The walls were covered with magazine cut outs of my future husband, Michael Jackson. Yes, the world famous, now deceased, Mr. “I Want You Back”, himself! We He released that in 1969 with his brothers. We were very young then and had one of those arranged marriages, only neither of us really had anything to offer the other. I was a lonely middle child and he was “mean Joe Jackson’s” boy. Who’d have ever thought he’d rise above and make it so big? Not me. Hell, if I knew then what I came to eventually know, I wouldn’t have insisted on him moving away to Indiana. Of course, he came back for me when he started making it big, but I’ve never been one to grab anyone else’s coattail – so I sent him away to live his life …as a lonely guy with a monkey for a best friend. If this seems fictitious, just google the lyrics to “Ben” and you’ll see me written all over that song. Not to mention, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Baby Be Mine”. I could go on forever, but my peepers of times forgotten are starting to cloud over so I’d better get on with it before they’re too cloudy to see the computer keys.
Earlier in the story I indicated that my room was not appropriately furnished. Pictures on a wall, even if they’re of such a beautiful guy, certainly do not make for a comfortable area to call your own. Remember when I said that I slept on a mat in “the boys’ room”? That wasn’t forever. At some point it became perceptible that I was being treated more like a red head step child than a middle child and mom and dad must have felt bad, or something, so they decided to change things up a bit. They bought used furniture from a flea market, used carpet samples (shag and thin) from a remnant store and a pair of venetian blinds that were only missing half the slats. For the most part, I loved my “new” room. The sofa sleeper would only pop out three quarters of the way so I slept sitting up, sort of leaning forward and folded. The bed bugs and chiggers weren’t much of a problem either, after daddy started dipping me in kerosene and motor oil in the mornings. The blinds, even with their shoddy, flawed design, provided enough shade and cover to keep me from being completely exposed. Since there was no glass in the window, they blew in and out freely, which helped keep some of the horseflies out too. The only thing I didn’t like was the flooring. I couldn’t seem to keep my footing on the thin parts, and the fleas on the shag pieces kept my ankles peppered with oozing, red, itchy spots. To my dismay, the kerosene motor oil potion was more like joy juice to them than poison. It’s like they lived for that stuff. I can still see them licking it off, then using their needle–like front feet to drill holes into the fleshy parts of my ankles making them look like fat, caramel covered candied apples but without the apples. They still look like that to this day.