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Louise

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do write post-it-notes and attach them to my bedside table, the lamp, my forehead if necessary.  One says I should learn to make a paper crane.  If I can make one than I should be able to make a thousand paper cranes enough to string into a curtain for my study window. That would be my real resolution:  make a curtain out of paper cranes.  Perhaps just writing it down will be enough and I will not have to make them after all.  Writing does that.

 

My creative ideas come to me just when I’m supposed to be going to sleep.  In the morning, I’m oblivious.  Last night, I said to Tom, “Let’s take these pictures down and hang something else here.”  I point at the bedroom wall in front of our bed.  There are six framed photographs of orchids we took last year at the New York Botanical Gardens.  If you can hold a camera still, there is no particular talent in photographing orchids.  They are all lushly beautiful.  There wasn’t a bad picture in the lot, which is why they’re boring.  I take them down.

 

“Aren’t we going to bed?” Tom asks.

 

“In a minute.  Let’s take these pictures here and hang them in our bedroom instead.”  He has followed me into my study.  “I’ll take Monet’s house down,” I say.  He makes a beeline for my desk and has the picture down before I have taken a step.  I take the other picture, a geometric watercolor of flowers by a friend, which we have just framed and follow him back into the bedroom.  “The big one should be on the bottom and the smaller one above.  Just center them.”  I hand him the hammer, one of many around the house for these late-night decorating sprees, and he hangs the Monet crooked.

 

“Good,” I say.  “We might need a stool to hang the other one, the one downstairs in the bathroom.”

 

“I’m not going down there,” he says. He pulls a chair out of his study and stands on it.  He holds the watercolor up. “ Is it centered?”

 

“Sort of,” I say.

 

He hammers a nail in and hangs the watercolor and looks at it.  “It’s off an inch and a half,” he says.

 

“Make another hole.”

 

He hammers another hole and the watercolor is centered.  He straightens Monet’s house.  “That it?”

 

I nod.  For now.  There are more post-it-notes:  paint your study red.  Paint the doors on the first floor.  Punch it up a bit.  Get your hair cut.  Bring your resume up to date.  Write a paragraph.

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