And the genius wolf arrived not at her door but inside it.
And thought himself a clever saviour, comfortably observant from behind the transparency of the glass. As if he were the only one reading her mind. Even though he wrote himself within a pack, as extra protection from the fragility of his own ego — he would never be wrong. He knew he was just one of some barely-visible throng.
But long had he fed at her window, and yet little did he know.
His thoughts were there inside her before he revealed them. She understood his moves and at the same time seemed unable by her own hand to block him.
She uses language carefully. She is aware of taking responsibility.
“Take responsibility for your own actions!” was the mantra from one parent.
Intertwined with “You be the responsible one, you’re the eldest,” from the other. Mingled with
“Don’t be so hard done by.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
And yet here she was… with a predictable tiny tear moving down the upper rise of her cheekbone.
A drama queen without even trying.
Yes it was all an act, she learned. Every feeling she had was an act in someone else’s play.
And the genius at the door stood pitying, not a saviour. But thinking himself one, in the comfortable clothes of his own self-aggrandization. A Lancelot in wolf’s clothing.
And that was the other thing, the thing she would have written about if he had not filled her firehouse with stars this morning…
She had never learned to ask for help. Cry for help, subconsciously, yes, cry “Wolf!” perhaps, but never truly ask for help. Or from whom?
A thousand words on that topic evaporated into the transparencies of her glass door, due to the chains of violets she wore upon the wrists of her mind — ones, it would appear, that she had threaded there herself.
So they said. And so spake she.
The official on the train. His eyes hungry like a wolf.
He’d felt he had a right, after all his ‘help,’ to the thin strap of her camisole, to touch for himself the sweat of summer on young skin. To remark upon its texture. Even if only on the page of his mind, aided by one solitary engineer’s rough-worn fingertip.
And so she had learned to help herself… or actually, the violets wilted eventually and fell away.
And every spring a new patch of violets. And every summer a new set of bracelets, just as her mother had taught her.
Every day a new ending.
Sometimes it was painful to watch.
Image: by Suvarna Nirala via Gallerist.in (found via search for “violets woman art modern”)