I’ve been meaning to do a post about this forever. This picture is my avatar on here, and my cover photo on Facebook. But mainly, it’s my favorite present that anyone has ever given me.
She made it for me. Isn’t that fucking awesome? 2 years ago. She handed it to me, very unsure about whether or not I would like it, because that’s the type of person she is. Of course I liked it, but I don’t know how I could have ever told her how much.
Well, I play trumpet, so there’s that. Those sun rays around the trumpet are the ones around the Alice in Chains symbol. It’s one of my favorite shirts (in fact, I wore it yesterday) and you can see the original version on the inside cover of Dirt. Layne designed it himself. The lotus flower, well, that’s pretty self explanatory. I dig lotus flowers and have one tattooed on me. The black, red, and white lines are from the cover of Elliott Smith’s album Figure 8, one of my favorite albums. It had a really deep impact on me and got me through a hard time in my life. Well, the hardest time at that point, really, and it was just before I met her. You can see the lines in their original painting on the front wall of an audio supply place out in LA. It’s covered in writing since Elliott died. People still leave flowers and stuff. Rumor has it they’re going to paint it but I don’t know. And the lines in the back are ledger lines. You know, music and stuff. Treble clefs and whatnots.
But that’s just incidental. You know, she could have picked any of the things that she knew I liked. And, she could have arranged them any way she wanted, in any medium, with any colors.
But she did it this way. The way I see things. She reached right into the center of everything that made me tick, and took a snapshot of the ever-transforming collage of things inside my soul.
And she wasn’t sure if I would like it.
I loved it. I still do. I always will. I have an absurd amount of trouble taking things that represent me and putting them out into the world. I’m generally only capable of expressing myself in surreal jibber-jabber. And when I manage to express myself in accurate terms, I usually end up throwing it all out because, believe it or not, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Even though I’m incapable of anything near perfection. Hence me getting nothing done ever.
But it was no problem for her. I mean, I’m sure she thought hard about it and worked hard on it, but in the end, there it was. And she wondered if I’d like it. She seemed to even be leaning towards the sentiment that I wouldn’t like it.
Because I would be displeased that another human being who I had known for not even a year was able to express everything that mattered to me in a way that I never could. Yeah, no. It’s perfect. It is the most perfect representation of me.
She got me something else that year too. 7 pictures of us, in one of those film reel picture frames. I’ve never taken a lot of pictures. It was never my family’s thing even though my dad was way into photography when he was young. So this was an offbeat gift too.
And I loved it. I still do. I always will. It still hangs in my room. I can’t get out of bed without looking at it. I can’t fall asleep either. I can’t start my day. One look and I can keep it with me, through the effort of getting out of bed at 4-something in the morning for a 10 hour work day, through the trials of said day, and through my always chaotic dreams. I’m never without her.
When she reached inside, when she took that part of me, she left a piece of herself. It’s like having a second heart. I wish I could explain it better. I’ll let the picture do the explaining. I’d say the only thing missing is her, but that’s her signature down in the corner.
I guess that does explain it.