You Only Need a Single Strand of Hair to Build a Beautiful Braid
Early morning is my favorite time. It’s quiet and still. The air cools. The sun has yet to begin its assault, blinding me, burning my skin. People stir under the covers or hear the familiar gurgle of the coffee machine calling them into the kitchen. There’s the brushing of the teeth, there’s the lone hand reaching into the shower, testing the water’s temperature. There was once a phone under the pillow, but lately it resides in another room much like loveless couples who sleep in separate beds.
In the small home I rent, the design is decidedly 1940s. From the original cabinetry to the preserved hardwood floors, it’s taken me a while to get used to living in a house that makes sounds because it can, because it’s been around the block a few hundred times, because possibly after eighty years it still has something to say.
Often, I sit up in bed in the middle of the night wondering if it’s the walls or maybe someone broke into the house and they’re downstairs with an ax and a saw, ready to murder me. (I watch entirely too much true crime.)
This morning, I stare at the curtains on the windows. They’re nothing special, they’re not fanciful or gossamer silk. But they remind me of…
The curtains, the copse of trees, the whitewashed windowpanes — they remind me of Liz’s parent’s house in Connecticut. We are in college and I’m padding up and down the stairs. I’m sleeping in her childhood bedroom where we whisper in the morning and Liz confirms, I think my mother’s putting on the coffee. While we talk about the day and the Portuguese bread we’ll eat and the drives we’ll take, I stare out the window and feel safe.
The curtains, the copse of trees, the whitewashed windowpanes — they remind me of an estate (also in Connecticut) and the guesthouse my friend has let me use so I can finish my first book. My friend drives me in her war-torn Saab and as we drive over a bridge (yes, a miniature bridge can be found on the property), the sensors alert the staff who come out to greet me. Come the weekend when my friend visits, I wave my hand all around the estate and say, I knew you had money but not Connecticut compound money. We laugh and sip wine…