Sunday, June 2, 2019 • Short Stories
Darling Series: Start Something with Me
Darling, won’t you start something with me? We’ll pick up where we left off long ago, with a pair of wishes.
In the night you sat with a notebook and candle and pen. You wrote about God and love and a dream. You thought, Maybe there’s nothing but seeking with no good end. You lowered the pen and touched your wrist and your pulse was quick and delicate. You thought of a lot of things. Your tears hit the paper. The light flickered that lit that page–dancing shadows on the wall, your wet cheeks, your nose colder than Eskimo kisses. The wine glass was empty. You made a wish and, doubting your strength, you hoped the wind outside the window was strong enough to carry it away.
In the night I lay in my bed and journaled in a sloppy hand. I wrote of a faceless woman who had no name, someone sensed in a dream. She was lovely, she was the best version of me. I wrote about her walking with big thoughts in her head. I wrote about her goodness and innocence and wonder. I imagined her gentle, intelligent, graceful and kind. She was ridiculously funny, patient and humble. She knew the great promise of a vulnerable heart. She didn’t yet know her perfection, but to me it was clear. Someday we’ll meet, this was the paper wish I made.
Someday you’ll say, What took you so long? And I’ll answer, I had to become the man you deserved me to be.
I’ll sit down beside you and you’ll give me your name. And it will only be us in this vibrating space, like we’ve snuck inside a honeycomb with all the bees gone off on holiday to a green Montana hill. We’ll kill the clock, the end of tick tick tock. Somewhere round half past eight, the clock will give up its hands; it will shudder, draw near itself and finally break upon the flagstones of the city.
You will stop time, and I’ll risk repeating this cliche because you should know your appearance upon my life unique. If all this be an illusion and time be resurrected and I speak only to a dream, then know yourself special, My Dream. If I wake with a spot of sun upon my chest, I’ll keep my head upon the pillow past noon and remember the warmth of your goodbye hug, the hug that felt like home.
I’ll watch for you. I’ll debate with the Fates. The memory of curls and smiling eyes will keep me company when October turns cold. I’ll make words and fling them into the Western Emptiness, over the Plains where I was born, over the sleeping people in the little towns, over the icy mountains and wildflowers and butterfly nets, into the desert to thaw and catch the high sun, and to you. I’ll tell you my heart.
I’ll yield my soft underbelly, because great love takes great risk. There lies the triumph, even if the rest goes to pieces. Even if the clock resets and it all be bad timing and the Cheshire Cat grins from a crooked branch overhead, this heart will rejoice in its heartfelt leap. I will make the attempt. Even if the courtyard be filled with Persian princes, I, the thief in hooded cloak, will plot to steal your heart away. I will throw down the gauntlet and the Earth will tremble with the ferocity of my passions. I be Romeo. This be an epic fairy tale brewing. So take your seat and be giddy, for all fairy tales are true.
We’ll find each other. Under a cloudy sky with snow on the ground and sparrows whistling about the color blue, I’ll find your hand. All the days ahead will be unknown, but we’ll know something then.
You’ll step barefoot across the bedroom floor, the soles of your feet flashing as you leave your toes, shedding the pieces that aren’t native to you. Take your place in the duvet sky and I’ll trace your constellations–three stars a triangle your ankle, twelve stars a bowstring your inner thigh, six fluttering suns a parabola your waist, the soft breath of galaxies your breasts, moon shadow the hollow of your neck, piercing planet of August sunset your lips. I’ll be your Roman astronomer. I’ll lift the observatory roof. Let your stars fall down on me.
And when the night turns morning, all your stars blinked out and one pale leg the crescent moon revealed outside the coverlet, when the eastern sky goes violet and pink rose, when the bedroom walls be the color of the Adriatic—ageless and rolling be that Grecian sea—I will place my palm upon your hips and introduce you to the day. I’ll say—This be the day you chose, This be the day you’ll conquer, This be the day your glory. I’ll remind you your strength, your successes, your beauty. And this will be my alms to the dawn—to send your spirit into the world blazing.
Darling, this is how we’ll begin.
(Note: This was part of a little two-part Darling series. Check the other part out here.)