Before the corner room in my parents' basement became a medley of sewn-together purposes--a library, guest bedroom, rabbit habitat--it was my pad. The walls were brown, just how I liked them. The floor was carpeted, stained with washable paint when the room once served as a playroom. The ceiling held studio lights from the time it housed a drafting table. Although it sat in the basement, it had two large windows along the wall facing the driveway. Outside, the ground was level with the windowsills. A gigantic built-in bookcase was imbedded in the wall against the garage. The door was wooden and had a sign reading 'Warning. Walking in this room makes the dust angry.' Between the doorframe and my corner desk, a small corkboard-whiteboard mutation hung on the wall beside a crucifix. A black frame enclosed each half--a corkboard on the left and a dry-erase board on the right. Out of all things concerning my adolescent bedroom, this board was one of the most memorable.
Various stickers and postcards came and went. The Speed Stack's 'Stack Fast' sticker for the craze of competitive cup-stacking had a short lifetime on the board before Rubik's cube algorithms took its place. A map of the United States was pinned and marked with with X's over all the states I had visited and squares over all the states I had a license plate from. Inspirational pictures were pinned to the corkboard while inspirational quotes were scrawled across the whiteboard. While 'Failure is not an option' became replaced with 'Failure is always an option,' a picture of a fire-breathing dragon was removed to make place for a sea-turtle breaking from its shell. The magnetic board became home for the 'Creature of the Month'--a monthly illustration of whatever bizarre monstrosity came into my mind. A creative project that lasted well over four years. A little cross was pinned in an upper-corner while a blank CD hung from a lower one. I was raised Catholic but the little cross came and went in series of doubts and high belief. The blank CD would never be filled with music, as I carried no capacity to sing or embody instruments. Colorful round magnets dotted the magnetic whiteboard, holding to-do lists in place. A Dogbert fridge magnet sat in a corner beside the one sticker I could never peel away. It read 'Animals Need Love Too.' To this day, this is the only thing I have been emotionally and physically unable to remove. Indeed it reins true. My undying love and respect for animals and nature is as imprinted in my being as the color of my eyes. Plus my fingernails were never long enough.