The Turquoise River

The Turquoise River

She looked at the long, thin meandering crack trailing down the foundation wall like a coursing river. She felt compelled to trail her finger over the length of it, feeling the raspy turquoise concrete, cool under her fingertip.

“I’ll have to go get some sealant,” her husband had told her.

“But that will ruin the paint,” she replied, with an emotion that surprised her. “I don’t have any more.”

“You have to fix it before it gets out of hand.”

“But it’s such a small crack!”

He paused.

“Honey, the crack will just get worse. See, water gets inside and breaks down the concrete, little by little. In the winter, the water expands when it’s freezing, then relaxes when it’s warm. It’s like a jackhammer, widening the crack a little every time.”

He paused, again, but she still pouted a little.

“Eventually, the foundation cracks and that’s when the real problems start.”

She sat at her desk, heaving a sigh he took as assent. He left her there, looking at the little river in her turquoise wall.

This was her sanctuary. The one place in the home that was hers, away from the rambunctiously adorable children upstairs, and her husband’s workshop in the garage. She came here, every morning, with a mug of dark black coffee and her journal, to write down what she would never tell anyone. With artfully inked script, she sometimes imagined where the Turquoise River might take her. Those were the only entries she ever re-read.

She began looking around the little room for another place to put her desk, a place where the black smudge of sealant wouldn’t encroach on her peripheral vision. Water she thought, it’s a lot like disappointment.

Riverview Hospital
British Columbia, Canada

On location for X-files, June 30, 2015