Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I started the blanket when I was fourteen. The doctors, therapists, said it would be good for me. Channel some of my aggression into something productive. I chose black yarn and a black crochet hook. It was plastic; not the good, solid metal kinds. As if they expected this hobby, this outlet to be short lived just like all the rest.
But I began. I started with the simple chain and link. Single stitches. Then I learned to double, treble, pineapple, filet. Soon I was forgetting. Or I thought I was. It seemed that the more I completed the blanket, the more my memory of that day, of that night, of that pain and humiliation, became woven into the fibers.
I began to loathe the blanket.
I'd pull out whole rows of stitching, just to make it suffer.
I'd do half a row of single stitch, and a half row of treble, to make it ugly and lopsided.
No one would want an ugly blanket.
No one would want an ugly me.
I hated the sight of it, but more than anything I wanted to finish that darkness.
"You're almost done with it," my aunt commented. She was right. If it were a normal afghan, the length was just right to be draped on the back of the couch, or a chair. Perfect for snuggling under on a cold night.
But this was my pain blanket. This was the hideous spot on my soul.
"No. Its far from done."
I finished three years later. It was over 500 feet long. Stretched as far as I could make my pain go. But it was all there, woven into the blanket.
I couldn't lift it. But I drug it to the rock quarry in the middle of the night.
The match struck orange and bright in the darkness.
And I burned my pain to ashes.