I once wrote a story when I was in HS (and how I knew about the relationship-troubles of a couple in their 20’s, I can’t even begin to guess) but the mystery of this story has stayed with me over many years. The couple was talking on the balcony of their tiny apartment in the early morning, and it wasn’t going well.
“The ‘disconnect’ was obvious, the sadness, palatable. The conversation ended, the man left the apartment and the woman quietly and solemnly went to get something from her clothes closet. Hanging on the opened door was a swatch of red velvet. She touched it’s softness taking in its beauty with her fingertips, as she had done so often during these days leading up to her wedding. It was to be made into a long skirt, worn with an old-fashioned blouse. But it hung there, unfinished.”
In the story the woman unfolds the swatch and realizes, for the first time, that it’s torn.
The weirdest thing however is that, decades later something eerily reminiscent happened. I was telling someone about the story and I stopped. I got up and went to my bedroom, opened my bureau drawer and pulled out a long piece of deep red velvet. Quickly I searched it, like a mother would search her child after a fall, for wounds. And there it was. On the inside of the material was a long, jagged tear. It had been the material I saved for my wedding dress when I was in my 20’s, a young hippie in love with a soldier.
Cue Twilight Zone music!
But it gets better. My partner and I have had some rough times lately. We’re cordial and friendly with each other and on the surface people would hardly notice anything was amiss at all. But underneath, we’re both trying to find our way.
This morning, he called me into the bedroom to show me something. He said, ‘Look, I fixed the tear in our bedspread!’
I looked with amazement. There had been a horizontal tear (no lie) that was over a foot long near the top of the spread. It was gone! This, from a man who wouldn’t know which end of a needle to thread!
I looked more closely and realized… the spread was turned upside down! The tear was neatly tucked away and out of sight at the bottom of the bed, hidden by the footboard.
As for me… I laughed. I laughed harder than I had in days.
The Universe has a sense of humor, a big heart and many messages.