Soft can be searing, you know.
I opened the trunk today and there it was, all neat and coiled. For a second I couldn't breathe.
I had taken a class. Just one. I have always wanted to learn to crochet. A very nice art teacher offered her time after work once a week, so I signed up.
I spent an hour at Michael's the night before, picking out the most expensive thick pink yarn. I held it next to different fabrics, picturing the hats I would make you. All the tiny blankets that would warm you in my arms. I bought so many needles. I wasn't sure the size or point, so I bought them all. I just knew I would use them.
As it turns out, crocheting is harder than it looks. I went to the first class, barely containing my excitement as I practiced. Stitch by painfully slow stitch, willing sluggish fingers to move in ways I had never asked them to before. I drove home and watched a few YouTube practicals, fell asleep on the couch with the needle in my hand. Two hours later I felt a prick and walked to bed.
You died before I could make the next class. I remember arriving home from the hospital, sunken and zombie-like, grabbing the prescriptions from the backseat and seeing the flash of pink. The lone thread sticking out from underneath white plastic.
I laughed at the absurdity of it all. Not out loud of course, that would take weeks. But in my head I was laughing. My pretty pink plans laying next to a month's worth of Ambien. Dreams for a mother who could no longer close her eyes.
That night I walked to the car in the dark, picking up the bag. I stood there for a lifetime with it in my hands. I felt them leave me then, slipping through the fingers I had trained. I saw sweaters running, pale bonnets like balloons into the stars.
I didn't realize I couldn't throw it away until I heard the trunk open, blindly shoving it next to a box of size two diapers in the corner. For months it lay there unprovoked, until now.
Needles are a given, sharp and unforgiving. One is careful around her needle, though I have grown used to them. Their prodding, invasive searches offering hope. The pain contributing to the plan.
But the yarn, my love. It sticks me like a thousand knives, twists and turns me in its skein. It binds and complicates. Like a noose, stealing breath from the fighter.