Where were you yesterday. It was not a question otherwise he would have posed one. You disappeared into preparation, mirr observed, the same way you can disappear in a bath tub. Immersed in water, but still fully visible. He needn’t ask further, he already knew when he saw us dripping on his carpet, even though we hoped the water wouldn’t show since water is only visible because of its surroundings. We knew that finally we were getting some color and some form, so of course the wetness would be clear. And if not, he couldn’t have seen it on our face. Driven. Even without a car. Driven. Determined. On our way, even at home, breaking speed limits.
I want you to take a step back tomorrow, mirr said. Build your own curve in that highway that you want to race down with 140 miles per hour. Curve it, gimel, and bend your thoughts to something else tomorrow, for you have plenty of time to finish what you started this week. Fifty nine days. I want you to look for Lao Tzu. I want you to go out into the world and meet some of his words, for they will be the batteries to the flashlight I will be giving you. No use of a flashlight if you’re not traveling at night, is there. No need for traveling at night, if I was there. I introduced you to that nightlife, didn’t I. When I am not behind my computer I imagine you walking around in my screen, sweeping off all the dandelions that I blew in your face. There are so many beautiful names to be given to unborn children, you said, like meander. Or dandelion. I remember you saying I will never know how Dutch breathers internally feel the word ladybug to be such a more beautiful name than ‘lieveheersbeestje’. I would have to be you to understand it. I would have to be in your meadow, with your wool all messy and my breath smelling of good whisky, walking to some books, touch them, open them, like I would you. I would be in your bedroom, I would let you smell my hay, and instantly you would know where I slept that night. Imagine not sleeping at all, mirr said.
We sighed, for mirr had not painted a picture any more, but gave us the pencil to draw. And he spurred us to be careless with it. Never draw in straight lines, he said, for only when you have finished you can look back and see where you came from and draw that line and say no further than to here, now it’s my turn, my time to make that curve in the road. Draw in curves, he said. Spikes. Even dare lifting up your pencil from that lifeless paper, if that is not where you heart is. Let words consolidate, but never let it grab the consolidation out of your heart. Don’t accept stealing. Don’t accept entrances. You write the story, but sit back while you read it.
Mirr was rambling, drunk probably. Luckily we were never forced to decide when we loved him most. Because of his kisses we knew that with meeting new sheep would be a new adventure, a new room in a hallway of rooms. Who knows what the next couch will feel like, or the next song. One must always look forward to the possibility of the unexpected, to unknown rooms. Can I draw on the walls, we asked mirr. Because in our heart we only found stones and geometrical shapes. In the back entrance no clearance was needed. Going about it from the other side was like we had met before, because who in their right mind would be so young and use this kind of terminology and brush?
Why couldn’t mirr just talk? Why did it have to be a conversation? He said there were no expectations, there was no map, no warning, just two people on the corner of this soul, throbbing with liveliness like a premature aborted lump of snot. It didn’t speak, it just throbbed, and words were needed to give it the color it had. We showed how the store had provided us with all these samples, ranging from Dijon mustard yellow to lavender Provence blue, but also there was petrol blue, aqua blue and arctic blue. Why they didn’t have Dijon blue or Provence yellow we didn’t understand. We chose deep orange, because shallow orange was all out. If there had been conversational green that would have been perfect, just to screw with his head. Yes, we could paint the walls, he said. Without the walls, there was nothing to see here anyway, and we needed the time to show to him we were serious. The paint wouldn’t hold to his heart anyway, so walls it was. When we started painting them we could hear the surface of the walls talking to our hands, to our paint, to our brush. It was as if grown up baby teeth giggled. We painted. More. Deep orange. The beautifullest of green. We covered the day with it. We even painted ourselves.