You come from a land of drama. On Vancouver Island gardens and drunks share a word: Lush. Its mountain peaks split the ski like axes and windstorms batter homes rougher than Viking invaders. Natural colour wails like a Saturday night, as unavoidable as a beach party in June.
Maybe because the last time you lived there you were an adolescent it will always be a land of Romantic Comedy, Shakespearean tragedy, The Greatest Show on Earth. Nothing, nothing, nothing in moderation. Like the farmer’s field across from your old high school known province-wide for its hallucinogenic magic mushrooms. Every fall pickers arrived and kids skipped school to harvest organically grown highs until one kid totaled his brain on a bad batch of mushrooms. Drama.
Love on the beach, sand in your pants, crashing waves. Drama. Alcohol and pot and speed fueled parties. Hedges fertilized with vomit and piss. Fights in parking lots. Lost teeth, lost bras, lost youth.
Bush parties: Pine cones, banana slugs and cougars in inconvenient places. You never once had an orgasm in a tent when camping with a boyfriend. Damn cougars. Damn drama.
Forty years later, you live in a colour-lapsed world from November to April where winter reigns. It took forty years for winter to woo you. Gradually winter won you over with soothing whites and blues and milky skies, and now winter calms you with its reductive power. It softens like time has softened the edges of your face, the folds around your mouth, your eyes.
Colour in winter shocks you like a glimpse of the past and you see yourself as in a spotlight – were you really that bright and gaudy? – and you are embarrassed by your youthful self. You want to shake a little white into that red paint and make it pink and keep adding more and more white until you are blank, a white snowy blanket, a vast mass of white.