A plum hue replaces the bare white walls. It’s in process. Clear up and down deliberate strokes. She likes the smell of fresh paint. It smells like starting over; Renewal. Every time she moves into a new apartment she repaints it, fully making it her own. (And she’s lived in many apartments.) Today’s mood felt like plum. Dark, mysterious, secure. It’s difficult for her to explain. She inhales the sharp fumes deliberately while she turns up the radio and attaches herself to the sound of the saxophone coming through tinny speakers. The windows have been opened. She accepted no help when offered. This was her time to be alone. When she was done, she’d take a seat on the canvas-draped couch, pour herself a glass of red wine, and gaze about the room at her handiwork.
Smocks in art class. Big t-shirts and aprons. Putting paint on them on purpose – because that’s what they were supposed to be for. Getting in trouble by the substitute art teacher I didn’t like. Likely went toe-to-toe for peer acceptance, not because I actually felt a certain way. But maybe because I was too much of a goody-two shoes – perceived like that, anyway. The freeze of fear and panic being caught saying something I shouldn’t have. The choking feeling of being caught in trouble. Art class. Maybe 6th grade. Maybe 4th. An even number. We might have been coloring or drawing. It was something not very involved. Panic choked me, but I talked my way out, feigning innocent. Starting to build on a life-skill no one ever told me I needed. The art of bullshit. And it was a shame the sub sucked because I really did like art class.
What if every paint can at Home Depot opened up and spilled its contents onto the floor? Would it be declared a state of emergency art project? Would there be too many colors that they would just blend into a murky black and be nothing? Or would we discover some new color, some new combination? Brave new worlds.
The smell and feel of new paintbrushes. Untapped watercolors. It’s just like starting over; Renewal. New supplies. The promise of redemption.