On the first day of physical therapy across town, I stopped in a cafe to wait out the rush hour traffic that lasts for 3+ hours, and I saw this painting for sale. Blues and greens and all the luminous shades in between and black layered on each other: it was beautiful. I loved it immediately, and I wanted to buy it, to support this artist of water from a lake I have never actually seen. I wanted to look at it every single day I was home, to rest my eyes on its restless beauty. But I could not afford it. Not when I need new orthopedic shoes because the ones I've been using for longer than the doctor says I should are completely losing their tread, and I keep slipping and skidding on carpet and wet concrete, the motion tugging at the tear in my hip.
But when I looked at that painting, sidelong glances every minute or so, every time I looked at it, I just grew to love it more. I tried to tell myself that I could start wearing my boots outside until Winter came again, that I could ask for money for my orthopedic shoes as a Christmas present (and maybe it would work this year), that surely a couple of slips and falls are worth it to be able to daily look into the depths of Lake Superior as rendered by this artist who loves the same colors I did (or at least loves this lake made of colors I love), that I might never again find a painting I immediately connect with and love so deeply. Dangerous thoughts for someone in my position.
I have not returned to that cafe after other PT appointments since that first day because I try not to test my self-control when I can avoid it. I am practical.
Sometimes I hate being practical.