Saturday, April 11, 2009

Click over to Bill Traylor's Woman Pointing and Holding an Umbrella. Describe what she's pointing at.

1 comment:

Moke said...

Painting by Bill Traylor Woman Pointing and Holding an Umbrella
M. Freire

I have told him, many times, “Don’t.”

“Don’t do that,” I say, “I don’t like it.”

“What?” He responds and scans the open space around himself for clues. Then, he looks at me and smiles even though he knows I am not about to return it.

It is an ancient, native dance we do. He throws his books on the floor and leaves them there instead of returning them to the shelf. I point to them and say, “Don’t…”

He cracks his knuckles while he reads. I glare at his oblivious profile, look back at my own book and grind out, “Don’t…”

He helps me prepare the dinner and wash up after, sometimes leaving small traces of residue on plates and lips of cups. I put the dishes back into the sink to be rewashed and tell him, “Don’t…”

I should be comforted to know he is there, sleeping still, each morning as I leave for work. My heels clatter hollowly across the wood floors of the apartment, an uneven clip-clop as I navigate the books, the bicycle, the remnants of his days that clog the hall in front of the door. I use the length of my umbrella to lift a jacket and reveal a small pile of what looks like the contents of his pocket. Keys. Receipts. Coins. A part from a tire valve. I commit it all to memory like in the child’s game I once played at a party. Objects under a cloth were revealed and the re-covered. The one who could remember the most things won the game. I will, of course, mention it all to him later.

He will say, and I know he wants to distract me and make me smile, “I love you, you know,” leaning into me from across the couch. His eyes will scan my resolute profile, willing me to turn and give way.

It is not that I’m untouched or untouchable. I can turn to him, reach for him and smile, but I think, “Don’t...”