Julladonna Park »

My room was two meters high and two meters long; it was hardly a meter wide, so that I could place one fingertip on the wall to the opposite side with surprising ease. It would have been impossible to spread out my arms and legs within the confines of the wall, even if I did away with the bed, the glass-paned shower stall, toilet, and sink, the table above the mini-fridge, the cabinets above the table, and the TV that came without asking.

The bizarre thing about living in 50 square feet of space was that it didn’t change me; rather, I became the most extreme version of myself.

There was no room for guests. No room for any kind of exercise, not even jumping up and down in one place. No room in the mini-fridge for anything aside from a day’s worth of snacks and a carton of milk. No room for the trendy clothes that others were wearing. No room for knick-knacks and souvenirs. Mostly I lived inside my head, in my dreams, and in my screens.

The restlessness and claustrophobia which came from the confines of my room was occasionally maddening. But whenever I left it to plunge myself into the living streets, into our sleepless neighborhood and its mass of tourists and exhausted retail workers, the anxiety of this busy world made me relieved to return to my locker-like room.

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