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Thinning

June 23, 2016

 

 

 

In the dark of this June night I am awake. I reach beside my head and feel my fingertips trace a three-inch tear in the pillow-case.

 

These things happen.

I sigh. Sheets grow thin.

Fresh rags for the studio.

 

I tiptoe to the bathroom to put cream dead center on my sunburnt back. When my husband went to live in California years ago what to do  my itchy back was a concern.

 

I felt disproportionately clever when I bought a long handled loofah.

 

With the streetlight streaming through the floor height bathroom window it occurs to me that the loofah will be handy should I outlive Jake. The thought tears painfully at my chest as I scratch my own back.

 

Becoming an old lady and living alone is decreasingly an abstraction and sits closer than my youth. 

 

Yesterday was my son’s last day of high school. At dusk our family of four of us walked around the neighbourhood, various arms linked, unlinked, linked again. Conversations about nothing in particular weaving.

 

We saw my friend Jennifer in her garden. She lives on a corner lot. Jennifer has let part of her lawn go wild, grasses up to my armpit.

 

Standing with her shovel in hand, her salt and pepper hair, Jennifer isn’t thinking about how pretty she looks in a t-shirt and a pair of pale blue jeans the colour of her eyes.

 

I dislike taking photos, so I delegate the job to a teenager; the upside of a camera happy generation.

 

I had been gardening earlier in the day, feeling little bit smug as I wielded my new electric hedge trimmer through the pesky mock orange that grows in front of the house and is an obstacle to my view of pedestrians.

 

I felt less cool when I sliced through the live extension cord.

 

Before bed I went into my son’s room. Max was sitting on his pine bedroom floor, soldering the exposed guts of his drone. I mentioned to him what I had done. 

 

Holding the thin iron above the multi-coloured wires and amputated plastic propellors he chuckled and  without looking up he added, “You are lucky".

 

Yes.

I am.

 

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