why do you turn and shield your eyes?

December 3oth, Nicole and I stayed up all night, painting my apartment. Plastering the walls, sanding, priming, coating the baseboards with chocolate coloured latex, re-lining my terribly beige bay windows with white. The plan was to spend all night painting and have dusty magenta up on the longest wall by dawn, but we didn’t quite make it. The crooked walls of my apartment require a lot of patience and an awake, steady hand. We started in the evening, light-checking while there was still the barest edge of sunset in the sky, and packed it in around five, thinking it was better to quit before the sun came back. We only took one break, around three in the morning, to deke out and fetch some food. (On-line, Alastair stayed up too, the dear creature, at his apartment, working the muppet-coat New Year’s card until the music looped properly and we had a working load screen.) There was a lot of laughter, a lot of talking about boys and travel. Plans we’d like to have, places we’d like to see. It was really nice, the best way I’ve ever wrapped up a year.

I had reason to be extra glad how late we stayed up. December 30th here is December 31st in Australia, which means that Mike is five hours behind, but a day ahead. Long-distance, sure, but that’s why calling cards are made. “Happy New Year’s! We’re painting my apartment fuchsia!” It went straight to machine, and I was so tired I couldn’t have told you what message I left, but it made me happy to make the gesture, and that’s really all I need. I went to sleep around seven, smiling, the day already well begun.