Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When She Was Young

When they look back on my life, they will say this was a defining period. A time that changed who I was. Not in the twenty-something-quit-your-job-and-hitch-hike-out-west kind of way.  There was nothing angelic about the 29 months in which I did not move an inch. 

In October, it was all pumpkin margaritas with candy corn in the bottom of sugar rimmed glasses. Big flowery scarfs and black button downs kept us warm outside run down bars and empty city streets. We were thin then, but no one was asking why our thighs didn't touch. It was the beginning of the coldest winter we'd ever see and the first that I slept with a fan.

No one will say I changed for the worse. Lowered eyes and soft voices will give way to the fact that during this period I didn't crumble. I shriveled.

Before we could put away our flip flops it was snowing. And snowing and snowing. Everything was frozen before Halloween. Heath Ledger Halloween masks gave us anxiety attacks in the driveway and the love seat on the porch became a bedroom. Blankets left in the foyer, shoes lined the hallway upstairs. We didn't complain, we didn't lock our doors because we weren't scared. 

They will never mention you, not now. Your name will never pass through their lips to lay blame or award any credit. But it was you. You crushed me so hard that I never fully recovered. Bones have healed the same way bruises lightened. But the brightness, that honest belief I held in the purity of goodness - this was when I lost it. 

This was what happened after the leaves died. When it dropped too cold to go outside. This was when the emptiness that swallowed me began to take over. And I let it. I welcomed it. 

First Painting Project

I realize how much time has passed while I'm sitting on the floor in the kitchen, surrounded by paint cans and dirty brushes, more paint on my legs then the wall. I send you a picture of the mess and ask if your day is messy to. I laugh out loud, realizing I still share every thought that enters my head.

It was 2:25 in the morning, the first time you picked up a paint brush for me. I starred up at you through tired, half blurry eyes. The belt of robe trailed behind me but I held the back of your leg, like I was the stable part of this trapeze act.  You stood on a step stool rested over the toilet, half of your body leaning on rickety wire shelving- the perfect Thursday night.
We're young and in love, even if we're a little old now. That's my favorite part though. I remember that night every time I come with a can of paint or surprise you with a new bedroom wall color. My favorite as of late has been that green though. The original. 

I smile to myself while I type that very thought to you. 

A few minutes later, you tell me to get back to painting because you want to see a Summer Rain kitchen ready for fall when you get home.

Middle of the night green, circa winter 2012