painting the walls light blue

I cycle along the seawall between Cambie and Granville island, past the tiny woman taking a photo of her tiny dog with her tiny camera. Past the poodle peeing on the jelly bean (art installation). Past a grizzled cart pusher who has turned his face upwards to the sky with a kind of rapture that makes me put my brakes on. I fly under a wedding of cherry blossoms and upturn all the pink skirts. I gaze at fancy boats bobbing in the bay like fat businessmen in black and white suits chuckling over their drinks. Clinkity clink clink. “aren’t we privileged?” I have a pink cheetah helmet on, a basket full of produce and a big raspberry of a scraped knee. I pedal towards three lanky college boys, bent over books on a park bench. They look up at me and smile with a warmth I’ve come to understand. It means, “You remind me of my Mom…” I beam at them brightly. Why not? I’ve always wanted a son.IMG_2380

I’ve just finished my day at the Arts Club, it was an hour and a half long. I pull my paycheque out of the envelop to giggle at it, incredulous. Yes. I am getting paid the full weekly equity amount. How is it possible? This is the best job in the world. We are remounting Farewell My Lovely (we did it at Vertigo in Calgary five months ago) I have two little plum scenes and then I’m done. And we pretty much haven’t forgotten a thing. Ready as spring.

I huff it up the hill towards Commercial Drive. I’m so glad we are keeping my condo in the hood. It’s hip and handy. All subjects have been removed on our “country” house on Bowen and we’re in the process of figuring out furniture: where to put mine and where to put his. Fellow said to me yesterday, “Some people think we’re crazy for buying on the island, you know that.” And I said, “Anyone you respect?” “No.” “Well then.” Having two homes is either going to give us the best of both worlds or it’s going to drive us bananas.

I lock up my bike and head into the living room. The Arts Club is paying me to repaint my walls this week. It has to be admitted: the “lemongrass” worked in my sunny Richmond home, but it does not work on my dark Williams Street walls. When I suggest I might change the colour, Fellow nearly bursts with, “Thank GOD you’re changing that garish green!” IMG_2384My face instantly drops, he straightens, “You mean that hurt your feelings?” Then he laughs so hard his head actually tilts back and it throws the sound of his mirth up and around the chandelier like little green elves – la la la la la la. I pout. “You hated it that much and you didn’t say anything? What else do you hate? The pink bathroom? Because I LOVE the pink bathroom, it’s “Italian rose” and it goes with the bird paintings and I don’t want to change it just yet, please, not yet-” He puts his hands on my shoulders in that solid settling benediction way. “The bathroom is fine, I like it. It’s just this GREEEEEN” He stretches out the sound as though it is slime across his teeth. The scum of a hot milk made with matcha. I chuckle. “Well, I’ve chosen a nice boring light blue to replace it. At least it isn’t grey.”

I smile, we kiss, and that’s about the size of any argument we have. Well, the other day he actually did say, “So, here’s an idea. Why don’t you get your head out of your ass?!” It made me burst out in a laugh, partly because it was so surprising and partly because he was absolutely right! Yup. That’s the most conflict I get with this guy. The rest is peace. We are so similar we simply agree. “Which wood floor do you like? I like the fir.” “Me too.” “Okay.” “Do you like this colour scheme?” “Yup.” “Okay!” “What do you think of the river stones on the fireplace?” “Ugly as hell.” “I agree.”

This spring, this house, this man, this paycheque…such ease. I can breathe.

I paint light sky blue on my walls and it is calm and refreshing. Maybe I can keep the drama to the throw cushions. You know. Small bits of whimsy that can be tossed. And my home, my shelter, can be calm.IMG_2385



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