I’ve been working on an art project, have been for a while and not blogging. It’s July 19th and it seems like Fall outside, wind whipping through the trees like an army of dragon’s tails against the castle gates. The street is lined with golden leaves that continue to drop and scatter along the road and sidewalk like escapees, rushing, rushing everywhere. The sun has abandoned us all.
I’m waiting for a UPS delivery. Shower curtains. Soft blush pink. Two. I hang them like window curtains. I’m not a girly girl but I love a certain blush pink, that soft color like the beginning of something grand, something in the early stages – before it’s born. Ideas are pink once that initial spark of blinding white appears. They grow steadily into the color they are going to be, vibrating into themselves as we do, taking their place in the universe.
Everything today reminds me of romance, first crushes, that giddy phase of discovery prior to an experience. Listening to the rush of wind outside I’m reminded of my first crush. There was nothing pink about it, really. It was deep velvet red from the beginning as the blood rushed in my veins that way the very first time, and then again with the leaking of blood from my heart when it ended. I was crushed. I’d been in love for the first time and then it ended. Like the popping open of a pomegranate, all the seeds falling forth, a parade smashing them as they marched over them, my insides cavernous and dark. Sweet. Painful. Over so soon. I thought it was the end of the world. Bill O’Hara. I can say his name here. He’ll never read this. You wouldn’t know him anyway. You don’t really know me.
We were teenagers. He was two years older. We had a few official dates. Dates in those days meant picking me up at home, meeting my parents, promising to bring me home on time and untouched. I was untouched for many years after him. It was the curse of the good girl. Maybe we held hands. I know we kissed after the first date. I don’t remember other details, how we met, his height, his favorite things. But I remember his deep blue eyes and light brown hair, that he smelled like a mixture of cinnamon and beer whenever he hugged me. And I remember the goodbye kiss on my right cheek, the moist feel of his lips as he kissed my face then slowly lifted them again leaving a mark as if he’d implanted an invisible sign of pain on me. I was so dramatic. I remember my heart being broken when he went out with someone else who he eventually fell in real love with and later married. I’d been invited to the wedding. But dramatic youth isn’t always gracious, so I didn’t attend.
Fast forward 10 years or so I was getting on a bus, on my way to the subway to my new job in Manhattan in an advertising agency – think Mad Men – and he was getting off the bus through the back exit apparently returning from the night shift somewhere. He didn’t see me. I was wearing a dark brown coat, matching leather gloves, knee-high boots and a paisley scarf around my neck. I watched him step down to the curb and as the bus slowly pulled back into traffic he walked down the main street, a lunch container in one hand, the other hand in his pocket, snow beginning to fall along the sidewalk’s broken surface, dotting the cracks and missing concrete in white. The sun was setting into deep purple bands that hung along the lower sky hovering over the old neighborhood near the park where we’d grown up. His head was lowered like a boxer leaving the ring after a loss. I never saw him again.
UPS just delivered. The wind has died down. I might open a bottle of wine.
green not hazel