Simplify, Simplify

By Jan Priddy

September 30, 2019

Simplify, Simplify

This could be the morning I slide out the door instead of back under sheets and escape before I drink my coffee. My arms unburdened, no one calling me back, no shame or remorse to shadow my escape. Away.

I might walk and shop and not buy a thing, except imagination. Look up at brick-enclosed apartments, imagine a life in renovated neighborhoods, walk across sidewalks, stand by cafés, waiting for the light.

In my imaginary apartment: a linen sofa, paper lamps, my carpet busy with tessellated swirls, a small desk before the window, a private view of city lights, a plain curved chair and this, this green fountain pen with blue bottled ink and thick sheets of paper poised under my hand. In my narrow closet only clean white t-shirts, a gray sweater, jeans, cotton underwear, plain socks. Silver pajamas.

I could touch walls and find confinement of my own choosing.

My former life neatly gone and never was. Sell the car and take the bus. Live within my means.

This is the moment when imagination fails. The mess of living, the lovely mess. Income, bills.

A rare regret, pushed off, the wish to be untethered by my life.

These familiar halls, carved saintly birds and dust, photographs feeding memories. Catalyst of dreams.

My husband has brought me coffee. He says the milk is nearly gone. I have misplaced the water bill and must call, find out how much is owed.


Jan Priddy’s work has earned an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship, Arts & Letters fellowship, Soapstone residency, Pushcart nomination, and publication in journals and anthologies. She lives in the NW corner of her home state of Oregon and blogs at IMPERFECT PATIENCE:

Photo courtesy of author

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