High school Jeremy’s room was an interesting place. It was my outward journal to the world of what I was into--bands, style, design--all colliding and rebelling against my parents' decorative norms.
For god’s sake! There was a string of Christmas Lights capping the ceiling. I had a Cocoa Puff box and an abundance of magazine clippings lining the walls. A blacklight and DIY glowing jars made from highlighter (come to think of it, this may have been my first DIY project) provided moody ambiance ... I even had a rubber chicken hanging from the light above my bed!
I had a plastic-tipped dart board, because my mom refused to let me have the real thing. “It will hurt the wall," she said. Remember that time we played darts in a bar just south of Cleveland? … We should tell that story sometime.
I had cliché rock posters bought at Walmart (don’t fault me, we didn't have the internet). I remember going to Waldenbooks, which was the coolest place on earth. I would spend hours looking through every book there, but at the time, the highlight of my trip was flipping through all of the posters.
All that to say that despite the other "treasures" of self-expression, one of the things teenage Jeremy was lacking in his hodge-podge room was a lava lamp. (I worshiped them in every recording studio photo I had seen at that point. Because it was such a prominent staple in those photos, I felt like I should have one.) Every time I asked for one, my mom sounded like the mom on A Christmas Story, “You’ll shoot your eye out!" Only she was saying, "You’ll burn the house down!" I didn’t, however, burn the house down. Why? Because I was never allowed to have a lava lamp.
Adult Jeremy has a lava lamp that sits on his desk… it’s only taken 32 years. It just so happened that the theatre I work for has a collection of them from a special event they hosted before my time there. I had thought about buying one so many times, but maybe with my mom's protest on perpetual repeat, I actually started to believe her threat.
Well, that is no longer the case. I don’t turn it on everyday, but when I’m feeling like 16-year-old Jeremy needs a voice, I promptly reach around the back of my cabinet and flick the terrible on/off switch that they install on those things. I sit back and watch the coagulated neon-colored blobs slowly stretch and take shape, completely mesmerizing me. It is then that I realize that I probably could have done without that lava lamp another 32 years ... Still, I certainly can’t make myself put it back in the box.
Cheers to the scotch tape and thumbtacks that held up my old bedroom,