The Greatest Gift; Seen For Who We Truly Art
I usually read a book while riding my stationary bike. As I have just finished “Company of Liars”, I was looking through my husband’s books for something new to read. I found “Paint It Black”, written by Janet Fitch a friend and a neighbor.
I had only read “White Oleander” by Janet and so I was excited to start on something else written by her. I sat on my bike and started on the book. The time the book is set in is John Lennon’s death and the setting, my own neighborhood, Silver Lake.
On page 7 Janet writes about Josie Tyrell, the main character and her boyfriend Michael: “She held on to him, her eyes closed, drinking in his smell, pine and moss and some peculiar chemistry of his own, that she craved the way an addict craved freebase.”
On page 8, “It felt strange to be alone in the little house, in the tranquility of the afternoon. Without him, the house took on the quality of a stage set where the actors hadn’t yet come on.
By page 19, Michael had killed himself and left Josie to wonder: “When was the last time someone thought, I know what Josie will like.”
“Michael saw past her mouth and eyes, the architecture of the body, her fleshly masquerade… Michael had to come backstage. He went into the mines, into the dark, and brought up the gold…
I put the book down. My heart ached. I thought of Chris, my husband, when the machines were turned off and he laid dead in my arms on that hospital bed. All that he had been and all that he had seen, gone hiding deep in my heart.
Before Chris got sick, I made him promise he would still love me when I looked like a dried out old prune. He smiled and said he would love me forever. I knew he was telling me the truth because when he looked at me he saw the woman within and she has no time frame.
Two days before Chris died, when we were in the shower together, he looked at me with more love and tenderness than ever before. I knew he was saying goodbye and leaving me with all the love he had in his heart. It was his gift to me.
I hold that love dearly inside of me but I miss the man who had gone backstage and into the mines of my soul and had come back up with love and admiration not for perfection but for all the quirks, fears, strength and passion that make me up.
I have to read on to find out what happens to Josie but as far as I go, I put one foot in front of the other everyday carrying love in my heart and a desire to harmonize my presence in this chaotic world.