One day, I was sitting in bed, after a long day and realized with a sudden clarity, that where I was sitting was no longer me. It came as I looked at a photograph on the wall, one I’d commissioned a long time ago, abstract, with the curves and lines of bodies entwined. Mine and hers. An art piece that had long been contended during our split.
During our time it was who we were together – black and white, perfect in lighting and tone. Sensual. There was a time I looked at that photograph and felt things stir in my chest. The razor-thin scar on one shoulder of hers, the myriad of scars upon mine. In that moment I was dumbstruck by how little I felt looking at it. Forgotten art, like some child’s gift made decades ago, it reminded me of things, but no longer summoned that longing or ache in my chest for her or even that relationship.
It was then that I realized I was in a transient place. I looked at the perfection around me. The nooks and crannies in that room alone. Places to hide, places to keep secrets, places to roam in the open and places to hide forever all within a walking distance from where I sat perched on the side of the bed.
I found that I hated some of the art on the wall, pictures she’d chosen or the designer had placed. I’d kept for no reason other than to fill a blank space. I’d long ago cleansed the place of knickknacks, a regular purge, but never touched the walls. At that moment, they felt like a spell, an invisible rope keeping me tied to a place I loved but no longer desired.
Responsibility drilled down my back. What would they do? What would I do? I didn’t want to think about it. So I let it sit.
I took down the picture the next day. I mailed it to her. I took down another the next day, and gave it away. Slowly I broke the spell that kept me locked there.
My room is simple now. My art is there, still. Some pieces will be with me until I pass. My nightstand has a metal Owl and a lamp. The other has a picture and a lamp. It feels uncomplicated. Simple. All me.