The first ounce of creativity summoned was used to decide what would go where. The basic feng-shui of a kid’s bedroom, my own personal bachelor pad, my Batcave. But even then I knew there was more to this place. Once the furniture was in position and the walls covered in so many Star Wars and Spider-man posters that I forgot what colour the wall behind was, strange things started to happen.
The sheets draped over the bed would begin to take the shape of brickwork and concrete. Before I knew it I was staring at the top of a 60 story skyscraper. The wardrobe door was now one of the tallest and most dangerous raging waterfalls on planet Earth. The transformations could be endless, all that I needed to do was forget reason, stop trusting my eyes and listen to the right side of my brain. It was the perfect movie studio, a space that could be morphed instantly from one place to another. One moment it would be the rooftops of New York City, the next we were in the farthest reaches of another galaxy. Anything was possible. My actors were in place. Graduates from the Toys R Us school of acting with first class honours. Each one fully poseable and ready for action. The stage was set, all it needed was its director. What followed was battles in the deepest jungles, scorching desert or an alien terrain indescribable by words. Explorations happened of lost temples hidden away for centuries, guarded by dangers that only an 11 year old could dream up. The heroes would be cheered, the villains booed and a damn good time had by all.
At night time the wondrous things that this place was capable of would reveal themselves in a spectacular fashion that surpassed anything the daytime could bring. The Sun sets, and what were merely plastic photo luminescent star shapes stuck to the ceiling would start to transform and glow. Before I knew it I was looking out onto the vast wonder of deep space. A John Williams orchestra blasting through my mind. The stars would glisten at me as I imagined hurtling the cosmos, visiting places others could not fathom. Dreams would follow suit.
The room changed as I did, as I matured, it did the same. Although as I grew, the place seemed to get slightly smaller.
I’m much older now, and in my current location I’m struggling to conjure up enough imagination to picture where our couch will look best in relation to the TV. It might just be that I’m older now, or getting more sensible in my ponderings. But no, there was definitely something special about that place. Something that unlocked the most daring side of me. I’ve never felt so close to danger whilst simultaneously feeling a sense of pure safety and warmth. And maybe never will again.
Everyone is capable of thinking back to the things in life that have made them who they are today. The snapshots of life that they carry with them, effecting both personality and decision making in the most subliminal of ways. I consider myself lucky that the childhood memories that have made me the man I am today aren’t sorry sad affairs, abuse or lack of love. I was given the perfect sandbox, just four walls to mould into my own image. A room where the most incredible things could happen.
Thanking a room seems pointless and seems the hobby of an unstable mind, so I can only thank the people that built it for me and filled it with love and hope that one day I can do the same for someone else who can have adventures more dangerous than anything I could ever dream of.
Who knows what wonderful things will occur…
Jonathan Bonner 2013 - dedicated to the 11 year old in all of us...