• Eva Ridenhour

February of Next Year

Updated: Apr 3

Our home is a sanctuary. Our front yard with its cherry stained fence shields us from our neighborhood of unmasked Appalachia, our little garden made up of withered plants, beaten and broken in the late February air.

Our neighbor used to scream and throw unnamed objects at one in the morning, paint his yard with wire frames and knick-knacks, sharpen knives and polish guns on his front porch, some days I would sit at my window and hope our fence was tall enough.

The curtains in my bedroom are translucent white, embroidered with the little white blossoms and light green stems of flowers I don’t know the name of. The windows let in the winter light, and I can see a world outside that I used to feel at peace with.

Clean empty liquor bottles thrown from car windows at midnight at our fence in protest

of our 18x24 Biden sign late into December and somehow I didn’t know that we were a community of hatred--it’s so well concealed behind facades of “oh and how is your brother, and when are you going off to college, sweetie?”

I think my bedroom could be another world--the second story feels impossibly high when I look at the lichen-covered tree branches outside my window, after all, and the folded up clusters of rhododendron leaves feel like another world from my bed and its rainbow polka dot comforter.

I made my bed today, and it felt like I’d changed the world forever, like they’d write

about the way I tucked the bedspread under mismatched pillows and put it on the spacecraft Voyager 3, the creases of the sheets on a record next to the masterworks of Earthian music and language.

Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine our house to be an aircraft, surging through foreign skies of fantastical worlds, my bedroom windows, an observation deck, the sun-baked concrete of azalea avenue the azure blue I imagine an alien planet to be.

It would be nice to visit another planet, I think. Maybe next year.

ig: @evaridenhour