Portrait by the light

by the light


“Portrait by The Light”
Watercolor and ink on cardboard
june 24th 2009
by tj schneider

I sat in bed before going to sleep and painted this picture in almost pitch black.
when i finished I placed her on the shelf as close to the light as possible .
So when I woke up , She would be the first thing that I saw.
I sat back down and looked at her empty black eyes
and wrote this …

She says I hate my life.
She knows how my eyes look when I’m truly happy,
She knows how the brown will ring with green. She said they’re “beautiful“.

He said “I love her eyes,
the color around them mesmerized me.”

I spend a lot of time dreaming,
How I wish I had a child.
How I wish I had a wife.
How I wish I knew my friends.
Over and over I see this line in my head :
every moment was precious and with every passing second they’re further away.

Today’s my birthday,
I’ve never asked for much,
Really I’ve never ask for much of anything from anyone,

Today is my birthday.

My sister called me and handed my Father the phone.
He didn’t really talk, He just mouthed sounds over the receiver ,
I love you turned into an airy breath followed by a cluck of his tongue.
The clucks would indicate that I was right when I repeated what I thought he said,
I don’t remember much about the conversation,
It was always hard talking to him.
I haven’t heard my fathers voice in over 10 years.
It’s been close to 21 since I last heard him say “I love you.”

I was 8 years old, I was so mad at him …
A few weeks earlier he and I were in a really bad car accident because of his habit of driving under the influence of alcohol….

He was taking me to hockey practice one evening after school,
When he lost control over some train tracks and veered into oncoming traffic,
A car hit our back end displacing the trunk about 3 feet,
I was sitting in the back seat without a seatbelt about a foot and a half from where the car hit us.
We spun in the air and landed hard in the ditch….
My father drove away.
We drove a long circle and ended up driving back past the scene of the accident.
The other car was destroyed,
A small red car with a young woman in it that looked like it was hit by a bus sat in the lane and my Father just drove around it.
When we got home a neighbor friend helped my Father push the now odd shaped old car into the garage,
An hour or so later when my Mother came home,
I sat at the window watching the lights of the police car with my Father sitting in the back seat.

That night I refused to be around him.
We were now staying at my Sisters and for whatever reason my Mother thought it would be a good idea for me to spend a night at home with him.
He was drinking and I couldn’t take it anymore so I went to bed.
He came into my room and asked me what was wrong..
I didn’t look at him,
Through my sobs I asked him to please stop drinking.
He paused, stood up and said “Im sorry, I love you”
then went into the other room and poured himself a drink.
That was the last time I asked anyone to really do something for me.

It’s fucked up when you lose a parent.
Even though from that moment on,
I can count on one hand the number of times I spoke with my Father.
I still wish he was here.
I wish that he could call me again on my birthday,
Tell me about the times when he was my age,
Tell me something,
Tell me anything…
more than anything ….
Tell me that everything is going to be okay,
I can’t even look at a photo of us together because
I don’t think that one exists.
today is the last time I talked to my Father ..
I am 22 years old.

Today is my birthday.

I sat in a bed reading the same book that I just finished last night,
I remember being told of a hunters moon,
and that soon life would un complicate itself.
I am 24 ,

Today is my birthday.

The greatest surprises of my life.
One that truly takes my breathe away,
I smile ear to ear,
I am loved and more in love than I ever thought possible,
I receive 2 new art books I am the happiest I have ever been
I am 25

Today is my birthday.

I write myself a letter in a green composition book,
I Forgive myself for mistakes that I made,
I tell myself that this will be the greatest year of my life,
I write about asking her to marry me ,
I write about a family,
I tell myself everything will be amazing.
I am 26

Today is my birthday.

It is actually my birthday.
I wish for a surprise that takes my breath away.

He says “I don’t hate my life”.
He just wishes she was here,
That the pillow he plumps up and holds to his chest each night to fall asleep was you.

then I fell asleep and forgot about everything I just said.


1 Comment

Filed under paintings, poems

One response to “Portrait by the light

  1. This is amazing I’ve never read something that connects with me like this

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