8: Charcoal

Grey sweatpants and braided hair. We’re in a dimly lit loft on the eleventh floor; more windows than walls and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The place is filled with plants and unfinished abstract art pieces. Buckets of paint are cornered beneath the roped canopy. Kilo enjoys napping in that corner. Kilo is our lazy cat. He softens the dynamic of our relationship. Him and our shared music taste. There’s always cool blue jazz spilling into the air when we’re home. Either that or we’re picking at instruments: he on the bass, I on the xylo.

Our turtle’s name is Kambucha. Observing her pace of life and love for lettuce keeps me refreshed. I sometimes curl up beside her, chai tea in hand, and babble on about life forms. It’s comforting, investing emotional energy in animals rather than humans. Humans are complex. Reactions can never be predicted. And so much is often left unsaid. Not with Kambucha or Kilo, though. And not with my partner either. Openness is what we value most deeply. You can see it in the way our curtains are permanently drawn back. The way the front door is nearly transparent. The way our love fills every space we enter, breaking down walls of inhibition like dominos. There is no me versus I. I am me. And he is himself. We take each other for what we are in our most natural states of being. Compatibility is quite simple when you exist in solids. Chunks of charcoal taken out to dance on white canvas. The Brooklyn morning is bright and the air is calm. We’ll probably smoke a jay before delving into studio time. This is when we devote ourselves to crafting and general artistry. We try to live more as producers than consumers; I might be composing a poem on the xylophone and find myself dreaming up an abstract piece to go with it. I may very well chuck both and find that the creative energy I had best be channeled to interpretive dance, or perhaps it longs to exist as a mud sculpture. I believe the substance exists alone first. The artist then takes it upon themselves to express this substance through a certain, or multiple, medium.

I often get carried away when I write. In my thick grey sweatpants and softly sunlit Brooklyn duplex, getting carried away is absolutely fine by me. Dinner tonight is grilled salmon and steamed asparagus. We prepare together. This simplicity. This comfortable space in time in which I am blessed to exist as woman. It’s not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.