The great Virginia Wolfe thought that every woman should have a room of her own, whether it was to think, to write, to paint, to work, or simply breathe.
I spent most of my adult life lucky enough to have more than just one room. Today, I have a chair. On a balcony.
It’s a cheap wooden one, what we call a “director’s chair,” in which I do anything but direct. It’s fabric, a weathered, faded olive green, fighting to not tear under my weight, as if insisting on supporting me, letting me keep this haven of aloneness. It’s rusty bolts protest at my slightest move, but they too remain intact.
It’s a chair of my own because nobody else wants to sit on it, out here in the dark cold. Whoever comes to bother me is stopped by the heavy sliding door, “mommy I want cookies” and “mommy come inside now”, are demands that I hear as the softest whispers. If I could make the chair into a toilet, I’d even get to pee in silence. Alone.
My time here is limited. In the daytime to seconds. After bedtime to minutes, that grow longer as the summer seeps in. It is here that I think, here that I write, here that I smile at the chalk lines of abstract graffiti on the balcony wall. This is my chair, my room, my realm. I’m no director, but I am the queen.