Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Guest Post: Welcome To The Den Of Iniquity by Tamara Mataya

Today I have the pleasure of having Tamara Mataya, the author of Just Breath, on my blog with a guest post.

Welcome To The Den Of Iniquity
by Tamara Mataya

If you’ve read JUST BREATHE, you’ll know that the protagonist, Elle, lives in a house that’s been dubbed, The Den Of Iniquity. In a moment of desperation, needing to balance the post-break-up darkness inside her heart with something cheerful, she painted the walls of the living room in different primary shades. Consequently, it looks like they’re living inside a Rubik’s Cube.

The Den Of Iniquity is real. Or rather, was real. Back when I was a teenager, it was the second apartment my besties and I rented together. Deep in the burbs, we were a solid forty minute bus ride away from anything interesting. Or that bus ride, plus a half-hour train journey away from anything really interesting! That house was a glorious taste of independence for the four of us at 18-19 years old.

We never painted the walls to look like a Rubik’s Cube, though it was something we wanted to do. So many things we talk big about and never get around to in life. But we decorated the walls another way: Writing.
It all started with a random phone number written on the light grey dining room wall. I suppose washing it off would have been the normal thing to do, but my sense of humour is too warped for that. So, instead, I took a pen, drew an arrow next to the number, and wrote, ‘Writing on the walls will NOT be tolerated. This means you.’ One of the other roommates was there, and she took the pen and wrote, ‘I mean it. Stop writing on the walls!’And we were off. We let friends draw pictures, write poems. Our resident artist painted Rubber Soul beneath the window in the living room. We really found our style when someone discovered a pack of sparkly wax crayons.

On the inside of a kitchen cupboard, ‘Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re NOT after you.’ My roommates knew I wasn’t super happy being home alone all the time when they came home to read, ‘Boredom’s self-inflicted unless transit goes on strike.’

A couple of my personal favourites included quotes from the Golden Girls, random 4:20 philosophical thoughts, song lyrics, and inside jokes that were our life then, but we probably wouldn’t recognize now. All those messages and more are written on the inside of my heart. Memories I no longer see, but can still feel when thinking of those friends I wish I saw more often.

If you’d had a house with blank walls to fill with quotes and thoughts, what would you write? If you could write a message on the wall to your former self, what would it be?

Librarian’s note: We wrote on the walls, but NEVER in our books. Because THAT is frowned upon.

Thank you for the post Tamara, and if I were to write a message on the wall to my former self it would be to spend more time with my family, and enjoy every single second of it.

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