As I spread the smelly black goo, I feel my body working. I get into a rhythm, pushing the puddle of it along and then back again. My mind gets into its rhythm, my breath is labored as sweat pours from my brow, but it is steady and even. All this is for an end result. Inside my daughter is cutting in the edges of color in the downstairs bathroom. We both mourn the loss of the dark purple, scattered with stars and galaxies, hand painted. I leave it on the ceiling, as a small rebellion. Today, I have decided will be the big push day. I paint the stairway to the basement. I paint the ceiling, the walls and the downstairs bathroom. I recover the driveway.
I have so much to do by my goal date, I find myself uncertain if I will be able to do it all. I have run out of money. I surely will be out of time. I need two more of me to do the work. I need a patron, I need an influx of money. I need more hours in the day. I need free labor.
I feel a certain pride in what I am able to do by myself, one thing I am not able to do is figure out how to use a caulk gun. I throw it on the ground in frustration and then go to the hardware store to buy a squeeze tube. I am annoyed. But there is this pride. I look at the paint on my fingers, and think of how it is good to be strong, fierce and independent. I think of how good it is to have the ability to do these things, and that despite the weight of my body, there is tremendous strength and stamina. But wouldn’t it be nice to have manicured fingers, to be encrusted in diamonds, sitting by a pool, a fashion magazine on my lap, listlessly glancing at photos, and only reading the captions of the most interesting pictures. And watching lazily as the pool boy vacuums out the pool? I imagine this life, I imagine myself as this woman, as I spill another puddle of goo on the driveway. Sweeping it over this way and back again.