Where I Laid Me Down To Sleep

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Adrienne D. Wilson
writing as Valentine Bonnaire
c. November 2013 - all rights reserved - Nanowrimo 2013

Where I Laid Me Down To Sleep

by Valentine Bonnaire

“I believe I would rather have Steiglitz like something - anything I had done
- than anyone else I know
------------------ Georgia O’Keefe

Sometimes staying alive is the hardest thing that you will ever have to do.  Love can kill a person.  Too much love or the wrong kind of love, or not enough love.  That’s what I know now. And that’s what almost happened to Natasha Evergreen.  She almost died.  Not the first day she met John Sandman, but many days later.  Days that stretched and stretched eventually like taut rubber bands, between the two of them, snapping back upon her.  Days full of roses and light where each petal held a kind of promise that only love that feels like that one did, can hold. 

Each snap grew harder, and grew more hurtful.  Each snap would be leaving an internal bruise on her heart like a shock.  Certain men are like that when you fall in love with them.  Artists are the worst.

It didn’t start out that way.

The day she met him started out like any other day.  A day full of wind and fat white scudding clouds that were dancing in the blue Spring sky over Santa Monica.  She was on her way to an A.A. degree, that first year in Junior college, and she was the first woman in her family that was going to go all the way to a B.A. if she could.  By her second semester she was studying art, which was what she had always studied, for years and years and years but this time it was very real.  It was college and that might not seem like much to you, but it was for Tasha.

 “What good is this education going to be, anyway?”

 “It’s what I want, Mom.”

“Life isn’t always going to be about what you want, Tasha.  Mine hasn’t been.”

“I know, Mother.”

Natasha could tell it was going to be another long Irish guilt inducing diatribe about her grandmother’s life and what she had had to give up, and then her mother’s life and what she had had to give up and it was endless when her mother got going on all of her complaints about everything.  It seemed like she would never stop.  As if there wasn’t a moment happiness could ever break through like the sun through clouds into a splashed prism of rainbow light.

The day was almost too bright to listen to her.  Standing on the balcony Tasha watched the birds drift in an azure sea above, watched the silver sparkles glinting off the Barrington Towers.  Shiny made her feel better.  Shiny made the sound of her mother’s voice stop.  So did the colors of her paints and pastels.

“You have got to stop wearing your heart on your sleeve,” her mother said.  “You have got to stop being such a dreamer.”

“Okay, Mom.” 

Tasha shook her head and shrugged slightly.  She would never do that.  It seemed like she could see the heart if she looked hard enough.  It floated near her wrist like an apparition from God.  It was tiny and it hovered there like a red charm full of magic.  She would never give up on her dreams.  Not ever.  Not if she could help it.

“I’m so excited, Mom.”

“What good is school going to do?”

“It’s going to be everything.”

“Where are you going to work?”

“I’ll find something part time.”

“You have always done just what you wanted, Tasha.”

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