Mom painted the living room wall again. Of course she painted the entire room, but she always starts with that wall. She keeps coming up with reasons. Nicotine stains were getting bad, a new color will make the room look bigger, a new décor for the new millennium. Each time she does it, I watch her. It gets easier after the first wall. But I can see the pain in her face as she moves the roller up and down that side of the room. She pushes harder, adds an extra coat that she doesn’t need. It is because in her mind she still sees what was there before. So do I. But I’ve learned to control it.
We see Dad, sitting on the floor. The blood on the wall, almost dry, paints a trail from his head up to the six foot high smattering of holes in the wall, made by the household shotgun he used to keep in the hall closet. Self-defense, the police decided. Dad attacked her after she discovered obvious stains on their bed. The white stains were from him. The red stains were not. She defended herself and, at the same time, got her revenge.