The Project Book

Deep Knee Bend, 2

I am painting the trim in the fourth bedroom.

Only it’s the first bedroom trim I am painting in the house, not the fourth. And we don’t call this the fourth bedroom; we call it “Bedroom 3” because one bedroom is too much room to be numbered so we call it MASTER .

So, we did call it the fourth bedroom “3”, until we decided it would be Colin’s office. Now it’s “The Office.” Which regularly makes me hope, if I paint the trim and get the files in order and put in some nice blinds, one morning when I scuff to the bathroom from “Bedroom 1,” there will be Steve Carrell (or even the great Gervais?)with his feet up on the desk in the fourth bedroom, sipping coffee out of a World’s Best Boss mug.

Well, if it were the movies, that would happen, I think, and dab into the corners. Steve and I are old friends already.

Twilight is the loneliest time of day

So, with four bedrooms of course it’s a big house. I am painting just this little bit of it, but I could be busy all day with projects. We have a whole book full of projects, tiny and dependant, leaning on each other like bean teepees. I could be busy for a year with the minutaie of watering plants and grass, deadheading flowers, dusting furniture, making seasonal desserts, shopping for local goods to make the seasonal desserts. Gathering the information to know where to shop for the goods to make the seasonal desserts.

I wonder why I am not more thrilled by the grocery list of nesting. Why some tasks, like painting wood boards in the evening, are easier.

Just don’t send me no distant salutations
Or silly souvenirs from far away
Don’t leave me alone in the twilight
Twilight is the loneliest time of day.

So I am quite content, at the moment to be painting the trim in the fourth bedroom. While I was waiting for Colin to do something on Sunday, I filled an hour taping off around the trim. I filled another two cutting in on the first coat last evening. When Colin got home, I was finished up and cleaned the brush while he made dinner

And tonight I am quiet. I keep on with it, using the utility light, long after the sun set, to finish the second coat. Me and the big TV are bored with each other. I guess the finiteness of one tiny project is fulfilling enough. Mix, pour, paint, wash, tidy.

The fourth bedroom is square, I noticed, just like tiny boxes in the Project Book To Do list, waiting to be ticked.

And don’t put me in a frame upon a mantle
Where memories grow dusty old and gray.
Don’t leave me alone in the twilight.
Twilight is the loneliest time of the day

— Robbie Robertson

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.