there was once a girl who lived near the ocean who years earlier painted giant canvases of wild horses with wilder colors in the attic while she was high on cocaine. i met her several years after she painted wild horses with wilder colors, years after she had quit doing cocaine, while she earned her keep painting weather-beaten cottages on the cape. one night at her house between drinking tea and applying lip gloss, i saw a photo of one of the canvases of wild horses and wanted to buy the original painting. the canvas was located in the attic where it was painted. she said she could ship it to me in a way that made clear that she didn’t want to go back to that attic or part with the painting, but she needed the five thousand dollars i was willing to pay. i didn’t buy the painting because i understood that she didn’t want to sell it. fifteen years later, i continue to have dreams of that painting. i purposely do not think of her, because i was attracted to her, but she thought she was butch and i perceived her as pure femme and i didn’t want to argue because she was older and her eyes held visions that became painted wild horses with wilder colors while on cocaine. besides, i hadn’t yet begun my love affair with cocaine. i haven’t yet ended my love affair with cocaine, even though i haven’t had any in a great while.
last night a man i have known for a couple years but only recently expressed interest in me asked me when was the last time i had a girlfriend. i responded that it had been far too long. it has been so long that i’ve had cocaine more recently than i’ve had a girlfriend. i miss having a girlfriend. i don’t miss cocaine, but i wistfully remember the highs and wish for more of them.
the woman who painted the wild horses “liked” a facebook photo of mine the other day. i hadn’t seen her name, thought of her, wondered who she was dating, wondered what she was painting in more than a decade. but i saw the painting of her cocaine-inspired wild horses in a dream last week and i wonder if the coincidences mean anything.
yesterday the boy who has loved me since we were 12 (although we didn’t say so until we were 15) emailed me. he wrote for paragraphs about the thoughts that wrestle in his head and asked where i find what is deep and simple and good. i wrote for paragraphs not quite answering the question, at least not in the way which it was asked, not because i don’t know where to find what is deep and simple and good, but because i don’t know how to explain what and where and how. if i look, i can see the deep and simple and good in almost anything. i don’t always look. sometimes i close my eyes. and sometimes closing my eyes is the best way to see the deep and simple and good. for other people in other times, cocaine reveals colors of horses never seen sober. horses that can’t be painted sober. these paintings give the sober ones a chance to see what exists on the other side of dilated pupils and its dilated vision. this vision is also deep and simple and good. the goal, i suppose, is to see the colors. to touch the colors. to taste the colors. to hear the colors. everyday. in whatever way possible or necessary. whether we’re high on cocaine or we’re many years sober, we’re here to witness the colors.