Wednesday, January 13, 2016
My mother gave me that little painting, and I can't quite figure out what's going on. I think it's Italian or maybe French, and there are bunches of women everywhere. They're rowing the boats, huddled on the street and marching with flags. I imagine it's a Kingdom of Women. Who knows where the men are -- perhaps behind the closed doors and windows? The little plastic soldier has been sitting there, on top of The Kingdom of Women, for years. I'm not sure what he thinks he's doing, but I like him there. There's a little plastic rhino perched just so on the useless owl butter dish on the kitchen windowsill, gray plastic on yellow. He lightens the owls' gravity.
When I was a young child, the mean kids would call me Elizabeth Aqueero. Sometimes it was Elizabeth Aweirdo.
In the exceptionally dark hours before dawn, I felt the usual dread and existential terror. I got up and stood in the dining room window watching the sunrise, again, the brilliant streaks of red and pink and orange over the neighbors' houses across the street. They last about a minute or two before fading, overtaken by gray and blue. I felt silly, insignificant, for having those dark night of the soul thoughts, again. What I need is someone to be always beside me, under the gray sheets and pink linen, whispering in my ear pay no mind, those are lies, the world is pink, orange and blue, someone, something, a tiny plastic soldier-man who thinks he's keeping guard over The Kingdom of Women, a gray rhino restraining a yellow owl.