I met a friend last week. I hadn't seen her in ages and the first thing she said to me was 'chalk paint'. Had I heard of it? She seemed incredibly anxious to tell me about it and was quick to say that it reminded her of me. She said it was natural, a little uneven, a little....she hesitated and was lost for words. It's sort of like the desert colours you like, she said. You should check it out. She mentioned the street where I could find it. I let it at that.
But today I decided to head off and found myself in a part of town that I don't frequent very often. I don't know why that is. Call it habit. I parked the car. Gave myself an hour with the parking meter. I ambled down a back street, taking in the small houses glued together like stamps. There was a white cat basking in a window. Old geraniums looked hungry for sunshine. Letter boxes dormant and useless. Nothing moved.
I saw a store with the words creative overhead and felt sure I was on track but when I entered I could see that it was a baking supply store. It could have been terrific. Lots of muffin cases and cupcake cases and baking tins and aprons and pastes and toppings. Just up my alley. I inched in. The woman behind the desk looked depressed. She barely said hello. I stole around like a trespasser. She never said a word to me. Her phone rang and she spoke quickly and in a hushed tone. Was she talking to the landlord, was he telling her the rent was being hiked, again? I don't know. All I do know is that I left quickly but wishing I had told her that nobody in their right mind was going to buy mouldy chocolate chips even if they were fifty percent off.
I found the chalk paint store. It was a thrill. I walked in. The smiling woman who loved her job told me she had just put the kettle on. Would I like a cup of coffee. I accepted. We talked about everything from old bevelled mirrors to wicker chairs to recycling furniture to chalk paint.
Chalk paint. Chalk paint will be my death. I fear that I will never write another word now I have discovered it. I got home with my magic tin. I pulled out the corner pine dresser, sad and lonely looking and proceeded to paint. It came to life. Smiled. Shimmied. Said thank you. I looked around. Ithought I could paint this house from top to toe in days. Everything could do with a fresh face. H came in. Looked worried. What about your writing, he asked. Tomorrow, I said. Now can you hand me the catalogue. I think Provence might work in the kitchen.