Wait, I am pleading with myself. To stop, and please turn back before I move on. Leave her behind for good. I know where she is, where to find her. Where I saw her last. Because I need to give her something.
Out before the sun is all the way up. Walking, wearing sunglasses of course, because this new day blue sky forecast is bright. And wearing Barely Bitten on my lips, because I always wear lipstick. I’ve fallen in step with my routine. The same route, because I can get lost in my thoughts without any actually getting lost kinds of worries. I am passing by an old abandoned school, though lately it is clear the school is abandoned no longer. Signs of some great work in progress. Electricians, and plumbers, and general contractors, judging from the trucks and vans parked along the street. Sturdy iron fencing, and parking lots repaved black and smooth, and lights glowing inside classrooms.
I have a hide-a-bed sofa, covered in a black with dark green leaves fabric that I loved from the minute I saw it, only to realize years later the why is that it reminds me of Hawaii. I sit on my Hawaii sofa, and wait for the mail carrier to arrive. I am wearing freshly applied lipstick. Not to impress him, no. But because I always wear lipstick. I wear it for myself.
The reclaimed school is looking almost brand new, and I am struck, once again how by large measures, certainly, but small as well, mowed grass and mulched chrysanthemum planted flower beds, washed windows and swept walkways, this formerly forsaken cast aside has been revealed for what it always was. Something of value.
She was me. In another era, lifetimes ago, rivers of promise hanging in the balance alongside eroding hope. And I find her where I left her. Standing on the shore, toe to toe with the water, toe to toe with her misery. Pockets full of stones. Here, I tell her as I approach, my hand outstretched, handing her my Barely Bitten. A small thing, I am realizing. But it’s a place to start. A place that leads to letting go and leaving. To leopard keys and lifelines and a new lease on life. To a place of pretty lace and tight laced leather and learning to love yourself, and in spite of backlash black lash tears, learning to laugh because there is light at the end of the tunnel. And most of all, to a place of uncovering something long forgotten. Worth.
Reason enough, to empty pockets of stones. Even without lipstick.