Something About That Blue Sky
It started with a list I drew up of people who care about me. The list was short. Then I made these lovely cards to send to everyone on it.
I worked on my cards for weeks. I even splurged and bought craft supplies from the store that displays life-sized wedding gowns made out of crinkly paper I imagine costs more than silk. I spent a good long time in that store mulling over fancy papers blessed with names like Gumdrop Plummy and Mossy Olive Flourish. Hell, I even sprung for a few spools of high-end ribbon and what they call adhesive gems. I put a lot of thought into each card. I always put a lot of thought into gifts. I must have knitted a hundred baby jumpers over the years for family and friends with new ones on the way, and every one of them was made with love and great attention to detail. Although my cards were all uniquely constructed, I worded the sentiment inside of each one exactly the same: When the asphalt struck me, I felt no pain.
The sky was brilliant that day, and the fact that it matched the lining of my blazer tickled me. And those damn clouds hooked me in! I climbed the cement steps to the fourth floor balcony of my favorite building in the city and my whole life seemed to flash before me. For no real reason, I tried to calculate in hours how much time I’ve wasted catching my damn breath and coughing-up God only knows what from my crumbling lungs. And even though I tried not to, I thought about my sister, Ada, and how we used to laugh. I remember when we were kids and she clipped a couple of Pall Malls from old Uncle Buzz and we smoked them in the woods out back. Ada nearly split a gut when I started hacking and choking. The sky was so blue that day too.
I dialed my home phone on that crazy cell I barely know how to use and never receive any calls on, and just listened to my gravelly voice on my outgoing message. I must have called myself four times before oddly enough, I decided to stop.
I’m still not sure why I didn’t go through with it. Something about that blue sky. I had a ball making those cards and compiling that list. Fortunately, I got in touch with everyone on the list before they received a card. I said it was a little joke and that I meant nothing by it.. People who know me know that I’m no jokester, but folks were pretty kind. No one’s a stranger to tough times. Now Ada, she would have let me have it. She would have been mad as hell and there would have been no stopping the waterworks. Growing up, she was the emotional one, and me, I was strong.