End of the 1970s or beginning the of the 80s, inspired by the green movement or simply out of the need to keep the energy bill on a manageable level, my father started to insulate the interior walls of the rooms under the attic. I was three or four, and I remember all the pine slats lined up in the garden. How my parents divided the work, my mother painting the wood and my father nailing the slats on top of the styrofoam boards that were supposed to keep us warm.
Ours was not the only house with insulated rooms like this. I would visit other houses, other children’s-rooms, and then cribs - wooden capsules coated in always the same deep honey color that would, later on, signify this era for me.
After the work was done, my parents moved my sister’s and my bedroom - which we shared at first - upstairs. With us moved our pictures: magazine cut outs of animals and flowers, which our mother pinned to the sides of our beds, so that we could see them when we woke up.
A few years later, we each got our own rooms and I was the one to keep our old bedroom. My parents bought new furniture, and I, celebrating my new, more grown-up life, picked new wall decorations: a poster showing a vintage Coca-Cola advertising with a young Marilyn Monroe lying on the beach. Fixed to the roof pitch, the giant poster was so heavy that the top corners would regularly rip off the pins, so that I had to pull the pins out of the slat and pin it again.
And how much harder the wood was at the knotholes! It sometimes happened that I was pinning a poster to the wall only to find out that the last corner could not be fixed properly, because there was a knothole at the exact spot where the needle would belong. You learn from this, you think - then you forget again.
Time would pass and I would leave other marks on the wood. A stubborn adolescent moving my furniture into the middle of the room, scribbling tags on the walls with wax crayons from school. My parents had other projects by then, coming to terms with their problems and their desires.
When I moved out of my parent's house, I took the posters down. I felt like leaving behind a neutral space, but the holes, of course, are still there.
And here I am, Christmas, mourning a love lost, planning a new year without conviction, distracting myself with these holes, at this moment only, allowing myself to want to coil up, and disappear.