On gray days, like today, she wondered where the sun went. Wondered if it went on hiatus as had her own will to create joy. Wondered if it was secluded in a cozy café drinking the cup of coffee she’d given up, worried that too much caffeine was the cause of all her troubles, as the magazines told her. Wondered if it had just …given up. She twisted her brown hair wistfully between her long fingers while sipping her Ginger tea from a white mug with a red heart on it and staring out her bay window at the gray that enveloped the cars and people and trucks and dogs and trees and flowers as they carried on without the sunshine. As she stared, she decided, with an encouraging smile that grazed her lips briefly, “…If they can do it, shouldn’t I…?”
She sipped the herbal, now at least thirty minutes old and still trying to hold on to some warmth like a grandma does her memories of youth. The tea wasn’t bad. It was certainly no Intelligentsia, but it wasn’t bad. She figured she could learn to like it. Like liver. Or like now. Learning to like the gray that was doing nothing wrong, but merely existing and clouding her thoughts with ideas on where the sun had gone. She wondered why she focused on the one day, out of at least twenty-five or more, where there was no sun, rather than focusing on all those others when it did exist. She felt ungrateful; “Sorry,” she said, to no one. She was alone, as was often the case, these days. She wiggled her toes in her rainbow-striped socks as she sat at her butcher-block kitchen table; the whir of the fridge keeping her company. She looked at its beige-ness. Beige. It had come with the apartment. She relished the day she would be able to buy her own spankin’ new refrigerator. (Would she pick stainless steel? A shiny lacquered Red one? A vintage, 1970s yellow number…?) That day felt far away, but she knew it would come. It would come and she wouldn’t be alone. The kitchen would be filled with the voices she’d been dreaming of; big ones and little ones belonging to those who would fulfill her life and not give her the luxury to sit and lament about the color of the sky. Until then, she was at one with beige. She looked at a yellow sticky note trapped under a blue magnet with a motivational motivator: “In twenty years, you’ll regret what you didn’t do today…” or something like that. She’d read it so many times over the years in the rented kitchen, that she stopped reading what it actually said and chose to remember what she thought it said. She sighed, “Same difference.” She turned from the fridge, back to the window and the life outside it, because she remembered that the months’ old note under the magnet shouted, “BUY FRIDGE LIGHT!!!” The little bulb inside the refrigerator had given up. She’d been meaning to get another one. Although it was dark in the fridge, somehow she stopped caring that she couldn’t see the orange juice when she tiptoed at night in her PJs to swig from it. But, maybe it was time she did.
She rose, swallowed the last of her tea and stretched as she placed the cup in the porcelain sink. She grabbed the sticky note and threw it in the trash bin under the sink. She repositioned the magnet and smiled as she read it again because she hoped that when the voices finally came, one by one as they only could come, the ones that would color her life, that the magnet would be right and that she’d have no regrets. Even on gray days.