I blink my eyes and a woman is standing in front of me. A woman who made the virtues of others seem paltry. Her voice was as the flowing stream carrying the refrains of heaven. Her eyes deep wells of radiant flesh, reflecting the beauty of others as empty in comparison, and affected those around her so that they were instantly remade…and her name was perfection.
Upon first view, it would appear that she was quite plain and ordinary. Or, that her oddities, if you would deign to call them this, were simply part of the background din, a mere camouflage designed to filter only the worthy elements of life and allow her to flit through life undetected.
She could only be found by those she affected, and only by those who knew how to look, like searching for a black hole in the darkest reaches of space, while she affected the stars closest to her. She was rare as common sense, as common as an exploding star, and equally as brilliant, if one would simply peek under the mask she presented.
She was as Elysium, and her voice’s touch was gold. The fact that she was unaware of her state, and her effect on everything around her made her that much more luminous. She was the unicorn, leaving rows of flowers where her hooves had tread. She focused on life, and the living; as such, she was the lightning, the storm and the damage she left behind.
As I had said, she was perfect.
When I met her, I was equally as affected, though my mind didn’t grasp what had happened until much later. When our hands met in a clasp of introduction, I felt an electricity surge through me that energized my very core. The blood rushing to my head, I could not, for the life of me remember her name until she repeated it again. The dizziness overcame me in a torrent and I fought to maintain my composure.
The meeting ended just as soon as it began and I was left in a pool of my own thoughts again, though after this first fateful meeting, the water was much warmer.
I blink my eyes and the next few weeks were a blur. In our mutual place, we danced our silent dance. Glances from across the cliche of crowded rooms and entire conversations committed to the vacant air without so much as a whisper filled a dozen journal pages in the wee hours of the evening before retiring to an empty bed. She occupied the space between my thoughts and were part of the thoughts of themselves. She became an obsession. She was the study, and I the student.
When we went together, to an ordinary place, we dove beneath the surface of the waves to find each other there, and we made love. We made love as no one had ever made love before in the annals of human history. Our souls intertwined and became both the sum and the larger. We shared everything in 30 minutes of bliss and went back into the world equally empty, void and changed, for no creature on Earth could have emerged from such hellish heaven unscathed in the most beautiful of ways. Our minds were as torn paper, and our souls were as the links of a chain that strung our hearts together.
Our associates were none the wiser. We were equally the facade of the unchanged and no one suspected our bond. When we met, it was in secret and in an insouciant kind of recklessness, destroying the ruins of Greece with our bodies and rebuilding them with silky words when our heads were resting on each other. We were destruction and the creation, and it was warm and golden to the touch.
I blink my eyes and years passed in this fashion, with our silent dances and rituals of love played out in secret, though those around us were whispering their suspicions, we neither gave them shrift, nor denied them. We acted above such trivialities and simply bored the waves of suspicion with a stoic amusement. We were the laughing walls of Troy.
“How small are the minds of small people, worrying about business that was not their own!” she had remarked while lying in my bed. We laughed and played. After all, we had forever.
I blink my eyes and the walls of Troy fell.
I’m standing above her grave.
No flowers, no grand monument, just a small stone commemorating a life lived adroitly by her own terms.
I’m here with my weakness, as my strength has left me, buried underneath six feet of soil and dirt. I think back to that first encounter, and wonder what life I would have lived had she not shook my hand on that fateful January morning. An urge to dig her up and force life back into her bones crept into my soul, and would not leave. Its suppression was no mean feat. I walked away in the rain, surrounded by those who knew and loved her, and those that knew and loved me, yet I stood completely alone.
She could not leave me! She told me she’d never leave me! Yet, here I am. I’m surrounded by friends of old, hugging my old form and giving their condolences which I acknowledge but can’t bring myself to give any worth to. The ruins of Greece have finally crumbled, the walls of Troy have fallen, and the gold does not glitter except in the recesses of an old mind.
I sat on our bed, sipping a glass of water before putting my feet under the covers and drifting off into sleep; a rest I would not wake up from. A ring slips off my finger and hits the floor with barely a sound. When I sank into sleep, there was no pain, for she was guiding me to the light that would hold us once again.
I blink my eyes, and I’m awake in a cold sweat. I sit up violently, as struck by lightning and the confusion overtakes me. I weep. I quietly weep as a man who has lived a lifetime in a single night, indistinguishable from the real thing. Then my questioning mind starts begins its duties. Was it the real article? Was that a real life lived, and this is the fantasy world within my dreams? Or are they both fantastic creations and I’ll wake up again?
A hand touches my bare back and I jump.
It is her! She’s alive. Her oval eyes stare at me with such queer fascination that I weep even harder as I embrace her.
“I love you! I thought I had lost you! Dearest creature, don’t ever leave me again!”
Her concern overcomes her confusion and just holds me tight.
I have loved a woman all my life and I didn’t know it was her. It is only fitting to wonder if the reason for my weeping was because I had thought her to be lost, and she was not, or that THIS is the dream and I’m waiting to wake up.
I elect to allow the question to pass, for it is better to love and be loved in an apparition world, than to deny a love so pure and holy that the angels would weep, regardless of its source.
I choose to live my life loving her, and whether this life, or this love is true or imagined doesn’t matter one whit to me. All that matters is my soul’s nearing completion, as the walls of Troy are rebuilt.
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