And she said, “I just want to write.” And I look at her and smile remembering the belly laugh we just had over dinner. Rubbing our own bellies and comparing and contrasting our body flaws not realizing that the flaws are our interpretation of perfection. Not realizing that the bursts of laughter coming from apartment 1 were organic and made the neighbors smile and they shake their heads as they walk past.
And she said, “I just want to write.” And I look at her and smile remembering her reluctance about today’s walk when she asked, “How long are we walking today?” And I said, “We will walk as long and as far as you want to. Just let me know when you’re ready to turn back.” She handed me my mask and looked around to make sure no one was too close to us… six-foot social distance and all that. I looked straight ahead and thought to myself, “You keep me safe, and I will keep you wild.”
And she said, “I just want to write,” and a sliver of fear runs through me because I know she’s writing about me. About us. And she isn’t laughing. There’s no smile. The sliver runs through me because… well… does she write about the laughter? Does she write the soft? Or the warmth? Does she write the giggles and use them as beacons to navigate the darkness when it comes? And come, it will. It lurks. It is under the couch. Behind the curtain, tucked between flower pots waiting to make its alluring entrance.
And she said, “I just want to write for 20 minutes,” and I hope her pages are filled with remembrance of the belly laughs and the snorts. I pray she saves the corny jokes and the chuckles like shiny coins so she can make withdrawals from her ‘sunshine and laughter bank.’ I pray she is writing future plans and dreams and promises made and kept. I pray she is writing the things that sustain her the way her food sustains me. I pray. I pray.
“I just want to write,” she said. And I smile full of love and hope and support. I am full of questions and curiosity. I fear she is writing to the darkness because I know they have their secret language of seduction. Their secret melodies, and they get tangled in dance.
“I just want to write.” And I write with her, because I am always with her, even when she is with the darkness. We three tangled in this clunky dance. But tonight she leads the dance, and I just want to write.
THE BANK by Sherron Brown, April 18, 2020