We had painted all the walls within the room a light blue. The blue reminded me of the summer skies that hovered above my childhood home. You know that feeling you get when you think of home as your mind floods with familiar scents that occupied your childhood, that feeling had settled over me. The room was filled with the smell of fresh paint and wet walls. I had chosen this colour so unaware of what it represented but I knew that my mind must have been drawn to it subconsciously because of its nostalgic aesthetic.
I pulled a paint brush from the paint tray as paint fumes filled my lungs. I had become so used to the smell of paint. The horrible scent no longer nauseated me and I think partly because this was the fourth room we had painted. The smell of paint no longer affected me thanks to all the remodelling we had gotten into. Just as how I had become comfortable with being nomadic and never setting planned roots. And so my lungs had adjusted to spending hours around the paint.
I had left my home town in hopes of finding some greater purpose in life and as I had reached my last of my money I came across a strange and eccentric man who somehow got me to fall in love with him. John hands me the bucket of blue paint almost splashing it onto my bare blue speckled legs. I didn’t plan on becoming a carpenter/ interior designer when I had left home. This life just landed into my lap and I didn’t have a choice. It was either this or I guess working a pole at a ritzy stripper bar.
“When you are done placing all the paint back let me know. Oh and bring the paintbrushes out so we can clean them out.” John instructed me as he left the room.
At times I wonder what my life would have been like if I had not left home and somehow gotten myself through the stresses that filled its walls. Part of me knew when I left that I would never make it if I had stayed. My mother was a shallow drunk who spent all of her income on getting drunk and forgetting about the life she had. As for my father, his existence was unknown to me as he chose to peruse a life that didn’t include me or my brother.
I poured the paint back into the container and headed out the house into the garden. My fingers had paint all over them as my legs were showered in specks of paint splattered all over them. I had chosen to wear my denim shorts as to avoid ruining another pair of pants.
“Hey here are the paint brushes.” I tried to hand the paint brushes over to John to placed them into his own concoction that he believed to be organic and great at removing oil based paint.
“Place them over there.” John directed me with his rigid arm. John was once the eccentric and dreamful man that I had fallen in love with but as time had passed he became this marble of a man. Cold and hard to move.
I toss the paint brushes and turn to his displeased face questioning my movements. I had planned on leaving, running away from him but part of me was so attached to the person he was and hoped he would become once more.
“What?” I asked him as I set my legs out into the glistening pool.
“Do whatever you want Gretchen as that’s what you always do.” John grabbed the paint containers and stacked them aside.
The cold pool water tamed my tempered tongue as the glistening ripples grabbed my attention away from Johns comment.
“You speak about others being different and so unaware of the world and who they meant to be but yet you haven’t realized the shallowness that occupies your mind,” John muttered out once more as he pulled out the somewhat cleaned paint brushes.
My head had spun around like a whip recoiling. He had pressed me before and psycho analysed me to his best extent. He was no professional judge of character and far from a psychologist but yet he believed he could wrap all that I was into a sentence that fitted him well.
“I’m shallow? Me shallow!” out of all the adjectives that could have been used to describe all that I was shallow was far from me. Although I knew that what he had described was far from me, I couldn’t help but second guess myself and all that I was. How could I truly know myself and maybe there was room for him to create an impression of me.
The word it had spun a knot of emotions and nostalgic sentiments that drew me back to the women I had run away from and the life that I had left in peruse for something greater. Had I become my mother in my escape from reality I questioned myself, assessing every part of who I had become.
I had forgotten my legs that had begun to prune within the pool resembling that of an old women. The cooling and distraction the vibrant blue pool once bought disappeared in an instant as John’s words sent my mind spinning.