The most interesting things always seem to happen in doorways. Thresholds always have some kind of story to tell. Memories, the strongest kinds, are made in doorways. Impatience, a good-bye, a first kiss, a first night together, a welcoming back from a long journey, a new life, walking away, finding your way, letting go, endings, beginnings; leaving one place to go to another – coming home. The unknown beyond it.
Yes, all thresholds have stories to tell.
Cheap wood painted white. Off white, maybe egg-shell. It could have been time that had changed the color. The paint job atrocious; brushstrokes against the coarse wood visible even in the low light, peeling in places, completely chipped off in others. Some lines of paint thicker, others barely covering the light-colored wood underneath it. The threshold twice the width of my shoulders and twice as tall. Hardwood floors that creaked with each step.
Strange the things your mind holds onto and carries close to heart. Odd what it chooses to remember. Colors; the light silver of aluminum. Bright yellow. Okra; the lights. Green, three different shades, three different things. Navy blue. Beige. Dusty pink. Purple. Murky brown. Eyes; no two sets of ever the same, no two colors ever the same. All unique. Some fade, some stay to haunt you. And the ones that do remain are only there to torment you forever, trying to find the same color when you miss them. Pine green, light amber, robin’s egg blue. The curse of an artist; a third eye with its own memory — a whirlwind of colors.
With those colors, faces and voices, sounds as soft as the whisper of a breeze. And along with those people, places and moments in time burned into your mind and heart forever. While others fade away like smoke dissolving in the air as it rises from a fire, others are right there, in the back of your mind, ready to be brought back front and center with just a small trigger. Small as a full moon, a breeze, the faint scent of certain cologne. Something so minuscule, yet with the power to take you right back there, when the memory was being made.
And just as no two sets of eyes are the same, neither are any two lives. Mine is different from yours, yours different from the next person’s. An old soul, I saw too much, noticed to much, remembered too much. I never quite knew where I was going, never quite could see beyond that step that I was taking, though. So I took it all step by step, sometimes cautious, sometimes rushed, always forward, as if I were trying to get to something though I had no idea what. The days I ran, I chased that something, trying to get a real glimpse of it, feeling its presence just right there before me. The days I dragged my feet, ones of doubt, of over protectiveness, of distrust in the unknown. Steps towards someone, steps away from them, stuck in some dance I never planned on getting up to.
Until, one day, I stopped altogether.
I looked back and I realized that each of those steps, fast or slow, was something else entirely. Each step was a choice; to take the path to the right or the other to the left. To go forward or to double back. Or even not take another step.
Every person has a choice. Always. Some of those choices become memories. And those memories become who you are.
Does it matter today? Will it matter tomorrow? Will it matter ten years down the line? Will this choice turn into memory or will it fade with so many others?
Breath. Step. Choice. Memory made.
What’s that scent? The feeling of a breeze against my arm, goosebumps, and a glance up at the full moon. That was all it took.
Blindsided by a trigger, lost in a memory.
I stare up at that cheap wood lining the doorway. Breathe in. Breathe out. I take another step, closer to the door, the wooden floor underneath my bare feet creaking. Not white, egg-shell, I decide. Time and heat have just peeled away the paint in that tiny spot there.
Two soft knocks. My head lowers and I look straight ahead as my hand holds the round gold-brass knob. It’s cold in my palm. Choice made. I turn it and the door opens. Navy Blue. Murky brown. A smile.
Breath. Step. Choice. Memory made.
A kiss at the threshold. A new story for an old white doorway. A new memory for an old soul.