It’s one of the first things I do when I move house. Turn on some music, climb a ladder, and paint myself a new space.
I didn’t have to move this time. I almost didn’t. I was a little bit afraid. The rooms seemed too spacious for me, too tasteful and grown-up. Too much all my own. I’m not used to having two bathrooms to myself and cutlery that I know for sure is mine. I enjoy my privacy, but the last time I tried this, it nearly smothered me. Who is this paint for?
I have made more friends in this town than anywhere I’ve ever lived. I’ve found a community of people who know how to reach out to loners. I have a friend who shares sharp-edged secrets in a musical voice. I have a friend who wears awkwardness like an elegant dress. I have a friend who is so cheerful it shames me into laughter. I have a friend who cooks me food just in case I’ve forgotten to go shopping. I have a friend who is carrying his solitude across a desert. I have a friend who is always here, even when she is all the way over there. And I have a friend who is beautiful in ways I can’t fit into complete sentences.
I should switch on my new cellphone and let these friends know how much I love them. Instead, I hum softly to myself, climb my ladder, and spread colour across the walls.