Monday, Apr. 26, 2010 @ 9:06 pm
My to-do list shrinks and expands in lazy waves, a jellyfish pushing through the ocean. The sun comes out, intensely hot, and then a cloud passes over, bringing the temperature down a dozen degrees. My down vest goes on and off, a bird moulting fourteen times a day.
My lungs are coated with a film of pulp mill air. The clean smell of fresh paint lingers through the house. Large inaccurate mosquitoes float in through the open front door. A cat pauses, one paw mid-stride, and glances in at me, green eyes and lanky silhouette in the dusky light.
Every few days, the film sloughs off my lungs. I cough slightly, and then swallow.
We spend the afternoon painting in the basement. Scraping glued underlay from the concrete floor. Assembling the patio set. Refilling the bird feeder.
Days, weeks blend together. A day in the office: a stream of emails and phone calls, edit drawings, create estimate, design this, calculate that. Staring out the window at the teenagers, the crows, the leaves slowly coming out on the trees. A day on the road: the sweet smell of clay drying on the shampooed floor mats of the new truck, pages of my field book flipping in the wind, retying my ponytail, and the flash of a deer crossing the highway.
I sit at the edge of the band, stage lights hot, a mosaic of empty fabric theatre seats. We all take a breath at the same moment. Thirty-five pairs of lungs emptying the stage of oxygen. The room resonates with low brass. My flute is no longer connected to me, and it plays itself.
"I'm lonely," I say to him. And he rolls over and hugs me.