“Stormy Weather, just can’t get my poor self together, Keeps rainin’ all the time.” the voice from the C.D. player echoes my mood.
“Keeps rainin’ all the ti-ime, the ti-ime.”
I belt it out along with the music “. . . everything I had is gone . . .”
My everything is gone, my world upside down; uprooted, like a tree in the forest, storm tossed, left to rot. Discarded like the wrapper of a candy bar, the container from the espresso shop.
Strange place, new house. I can’t call it a home yet. I don’t have my bed made. First, though, find the bed. It is hidden under all the stuff from the packed car I dumped helter skelter on top of it. The movers took care of the furniture, but they put on the couch on the wrong wall. I have to move it. Me? Move it? He always did that. I’ve lost my right arm.
Good riddance, you can do it. Don’t need him.
HE LEFT ME. There I said it. Out loud. Not so bad, is it?
And look what I get:
New start, new beginning.
At my age?
I couldn’t stay where I was and see him with his new cutie on his arm, now could I? And I’ll be damned if I stick around for the “looks,” the pity.
No, a new start in a new town where I can be whoever I want to be. That’s right. A new, improved me.
I’ve always wanted to live on the Oregon coast, but he refused to consider relocating. Did he have this cutie even then? Or maybe another one?
Come on, none of that. Good riddance.
Groceries, I need groceries. Best get to the store. Where’s the list? The realtor left it. City Hall, Post Office, what else? What do I do first? Don’t panic, it doesn’t take “different plumbing” to do this. You have the right stuff, women do this all the time, and so can you.
Grab my bag and head downtown. No, shower first, change clothes. First impressions, remember. At home, I didn’t have to think about it. No, that’s not home anymore. This is home.
I look around the cozy house I bought . . . just two days ago. I love it, two blocks to the beach, quiet, small town. A village really. He needed urban surroundings, concerts, noise, traffic, high energy. Not me, quiet is me. I can write here. Maybe I will take up painting. Think of the new paths I can take, without his ridicule, his criticism.
Shower over, that feels better. Clean clothes, make-up carefully applied. Hair looks good. Grab my purse to investigate my new hometown!
The CD is repeating, “Stormy Weather, everything I had is gone.” Yes, that everything is gone, but a new home and different me will make a better everything here . . . so bring on the stormy weather.
The Essay and Image are from the Hoffman Center Word and Image Event. An artist and an author are paired to reflect on each others’ work.