And sometimes I did. But more often than not, my hand would slip as I changed direction, or the paper would move where I hadn't pinned it down tightly, and my intricate pattern would be scarred by a jagged line of ink cutting through. I'd always been proud of my colouring-in, my skill at keeping the bright pencil shades inside the bold black lines, but this was different. In the Spirograph patterns, the lines haunted and taunted me, marking out my successes and failures for everyone to see.
As I sit here tonight I think of all the other lines. The thickening waistlines and thinning hairlines; the multiplying creases round our eyes, the pillow line that carves my face like a ventriloquist's dummy. I reflect on the times at work when I've tried to cross the line, or encouraged others to toe the line. I smile at the warm feeling of success and relief that comes on opening night, when after months of rehearsals, all the lines come out with the right words in the right order. I remember old relationships where I failed to draw the line or was too stupid to read between the lines. I recognise the thin line between right and wrong, between love and hate.
Then I look outside and see your vests flapping against my t-shirts on the washing line, and I remember the lines I wrote you in that e-mail, back before our beginning. I would never have guessed then of the marriage lines we'd share so many years later.
I think of the lines that mark the beginning and end of life, the umbilical cord, the blinking line on a heart monitor. I'm glad you are my life line.