I sit at my dining room table and sip my cooling Café Vienna and put my pen down. I look up from my New York Times crossword and out my window. The two trees outside my window have grown a great deal since I moved in two years ago. They’ve gone from saplings to mighty trees. It’s nice having an apartment on the second floor. I can see trees outside my window and not the road below.
There’s a summer breeze blowing through, and one tree leans into the other and embraces it. He’s so gentle with her. She tilts her face up to his for a kiss.
I look for my car keys. I have a doctor’s appointment this morning and it’s time to go. The keys are not in my purse. Where could I have left them? All my life I’ve put them in my purse, but lately I’ve just been dropping them anywhere. Living alone has its benefits. Things are always exactly where I leave them. It has its detractions too. Things are always exactly where leave them, and I don’t have anybody I can blame.
I walk to the kitchen in my slippers and robe and look on the counter. Nope. I shuffle to the bathroom. Not there, but I do need to get more toilet paper when I’m out. I walk into my bedroom still holding my cup of coffee. My bedroom window looks out on the same trees as the living room window.
I wander back into the dining/living room because this window has a slightly better angle on the trees. I set my coffee cup down on the table. Ah, there are my keys. If losing my keys is all that comes with getting older, I’ll take it. It’s losing my mind that terrifies me.
I learned a new word yesterday, pareidolia. It’s the human tendency to seek patterns in random information, like seeing Jesus in a tortilla. I look at my trees. Or faces in trees. Artists like me have higher sense of pareidolia. My drafting table sits by the window with my latest work spread across it.
I take my seat and pull out some of the reference images I printed from the computer.
“Not now,” I call out eyes on the images. “I’m working.”
I’ve been practicing wings. I’ve almost got the knack, and now I want to work on faces. I just took a class last week and I have my materials at hand. I draw an oval and place my reference marks for the features and start with the eyes.
I glance out at my trees. They’re just holding hands now and I smile. The light is lovely today, a fresh morning light that comes in my window and swirls and dances in my living room. I’d like to dance with it, but, alas, my legs just don’t work like that anymore. Instead, I enjoy the visual display.
“Carol, can I have a lolly?”
“Yes dear, they’re in a bowl on the counter.”
I finish drawing the face and study it. It’s thick and horsey looking. Dang it! I’ll do it again and change—
A streak of light crossing the room catches my attention. It dissolves into dancing stars and one flutters over to my desk and resolves itself into a figure. Her delicate foot taps the face and she frowns.
“Yes, I know dear, it doesn’t look like you. But now that you’re here, I think I can to a better job. Look, I’ve gotten very good at wings.”
She looks over her shoulder at her own wings and then at the wings of her friends fluttering around the apartment in a rainbow of sparkles. She smiles with approval. With a glance out the window at my trees, she’s mad now and has her back turned to him, I pick up my pencil and start on a new face.