It’s still dark outside as I leave my flat for the day. I have a slice of whole wheat toast, with peanut butter folded in half in my right hand and a red pear in the crook of my elbow. As I turn the key in the lock I do a mental check to make sure I have tea at work. Yes, but no milk. I open the door and grab a lemon from my fruit bowl which sits on the counter, next to my key dish. I close the door again, lock it and carefully venture down the uneven walkway to my car, cursing the alleged sensor light that fails to light the path. I can barely see outside, but I can hear the sound of cars speeding down the motorway against the rain.
I don’t remember the drive to work. I am waiting for my brain to start-up again as I mumble hello to the construction workers waiting for me to disarm the buildings so they too can start their day. One of them comments on my now half eaten piece of toast and questions why I’m holding a lemon. My mouth says for breakfast but I mean to say for my tea. He laughs. I explain. We part ways and start our respective days.
There is a stillness in the museum opening before daylight. I draw back the new curtains I have hung and walk to the workroom turning on lights and various technology on my way to the kitchen to plug-in the kettle. I open the blinds in the kitchen and wait for the kettle to boil as I listen to the sound of the rain hitting the window, willing the sky to produce some lightening. Although it’s raining, it’s warm out and I can smell lightening in the distance. Smells like home.
I start to daydream leaning against the wall of research files I have to reorganize while waiting for the kettle. I think of the sketch I did last night for my latest art project that will finally get me back into sewing. I smile thinking about the sound the needle makes when hitting the fabric. I am interrupted by the sound of the kettle hissing. While the tea steeps I slice the lemon. I gather my belongings up again and climb the stairs to my office. As I reach the top, I look out the window and see if the rain has halted the work outside. It has.
I sit down at my desk, and start to organize things for the day. Crossing out the old, I start to make new lists when my phone rings. The caller identification reads Home. I laugh. My mother can never master the time difference and I know the conversation will start with “What time is it there?” She is calling to tell me she found a box of my old writing. Just recently she had sent my a pile of old notes from my friends and I from high school, so I assume she means more of the same. No, creative writing assignments, she says. Do you want me to send them to you, she asks. No, I spit out. Keep them there. I can tell from her voice she’s a bit perplexed, but doesn’t push further and we move on to talking about other things. I tell her my new sewing machine has 30 stitches. We hang up shortly after and I start in on my work day.
It’s still dark out, most of the city is still sleeping. My tea is now cool enough to drink. I click on the folder on my desktop where my panels for my latest exhibition reside. I reread everything, as I always do before starting to write a new one. I think of how much effort I now put into different styles of writing for work, and how quickly I will turn out this blog post. If only exhibition panels could be done in a stream of consciousness style. I pause before opening up a new page and think back to the writing I was doing ten years ago, or three years ago and realize the reason I can’t go back, at least not right now, is because I don’t want to be reminded of how sad I was back then. For the tough exterior, there is still too much vulnerability in this heart, at these finger tips.
I can spend my work days searching through the archives and writing about people’s pasts, but I’ll stick to thinking about my future. Although the daylight is still dim now, I know the sun is just beyond the clouds.