Dad repaints the kitchen walls white. Mother painted it lavender before she left.
“White’s sensible,” he says. “Orderly. That’s a kitchen.”
He paints with cold precision. Any fleck of purple is suppressed.
Mother loved lavender.
“The color of dreams and expression,” she said, brushing away tears. “Sadness too.”
“Dad’s a realist,” she added.
I wish I responded. Maybe she’d have taken me with her.
Wish in one hand, shit in the other, Dad says.
One night, I start painting. Lavender. I paint with swiftness, imagining her smiling. I imagine a father who can dream. I try to smile. It’s too crooked.