Angles and Parallel Lines

Tiny particles of paint and drywall rain down, embedding themselves in the carpet. The drill whirrs, making holes in the wall. Then the screws are twisted in, but Dad’s hand slips. The drill chips some paint off the wall. It leaves a white mark where blue should be. He slides the floating wall shelf in place. I walk backwards to inspect it. It’s not straight.

The bed’s blankets are warm where they cover me. Too warm. I stick one leg out. My eyes flit back and forth as I read the book. I turn the page, and the crinkling paper is too loud for the hour. A passage catches my eye, and I reach for a post-it note and pen. My hand writes at an awkward angle. The words aren’t straight. The edge of the post-it note is unaligned with the pages.

I wake up slowly, groggy after sleeping for too long. It’s too bright. I get up and adjust the shutters, partially blocking out the sun. Light makes the dust stand out more. I make my bed, then go to the bathroom to splash my face and brush my hair. Downstairs, I go around the kitchen, my body moving automatically. My hand pushes the wooden cutting board, lining it up with the edge of the counter. My foot kicks the loose floorboard back in place. My arms carry dirty dishes, rinsing and arranging them in the sink. My fingers pick up an empty cat food can, feeding it to the recycling bin. I move to the dining table. The placemats are crooked. The chairs aren’t parallel to the table. The napkin holder is askew. I adjust all of it. Then I open the fridge and make myself breakfast.

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I open the door to the studio, and my nose fills with the scent of clay and paint. I walk to the back, getting an apron off the hook and tying it around my waist. I gather my materials and set up my station. I sit down on the edge of a cushioned chair. My foot presses against the pedal, and the wheel hums as it spins. I wet my hands and begin to center a ball of clay on the wheel.  My fingers manipulate the clay, pulling up walls and smoothing out any uneven spots. My palms and wrists are covered in slip. Soon, a short mug is formed. I lean back to inspect my work. The walls are lopsided, but that’s okay.

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