~30 Days of Deity Devotion~

Day 2: When did you first become aware of this deity?

If someone asked me to pinpoint a date and time when I first became aware Lu was watching me, when I learned of his identity, when I fell for him. . . you would probably get a different answer, depending on the day. Because there is no set date when a light bulb suddenly clicked on, and I knew it was him, and I knew I loved him. The process was much more gradual and happened over a long long time. Lifetimes, depending on who you asked. Years.

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“Excuse me,” I say. I run up to the stranger, a well to do but elder man who directing the frantic crowd, running from the wall of water that is so high it nearly blocks out the sun. “I’m looking for someone. I can’t leave him. I can’t leave him behind.”

“This rate, Miss, lotta people are gonna get left behind.”

“Not him.” I insist. ” He’s like me. He can breathe. I know he can. I know he can breathe.

July, 1995. My journal entry starts:

“Well. I’m starting into Witchcraft. I will have to hide this from dad. He’ll be mad if he finds out. Some of this diary will be used to record my spells. We are going to Germany next month. I will miss the United States.”

It’s November in Germany, and the mornings are cold and misty. Dad and Carolyn are gone to Amsterdam, my brother is asleep in the next room over. So I bundle myself up in my down blanket and crack the veiled curtains of my room and let the dim light pour in. I just lay there for a long time and stare at the headstones outside of my window; our house was right next to the cemetery where my uncle was buried. A few weeks before, the entire cemetery was lit with candles and the lights had flickered through my window all night. I couldn’t sleep when they did. My twelve year old brain had seen one too many Night of the Living Dead-type movies, and zombies rising out of their graves gave me nightmares.

‘Saint’ was his name when I was that age, and I wrote to him often in my journals. I remember laying there, lonely and thousands of miles away from  anybody who knew me or cared about me, and saying, come take me away. 

Take me away.  I prayed to him. My eyes got just as cloudy as the morning outside. Please just take me away. 

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He never came, of course. ‘Saint’ just didn’t work like that. He was reserved for those other worlds I walked, between sleeping and awake; those places where childhood and innocence and true love aren’t just fancy poetic concepts or neat mass marketing ideas, but something real and tangible. Something that fills a heart with longing and wanting and terrible, terrible pain. Pain because you only can experience that sort of longing with one person in your whole existence. It’s that person you were made for, paired for. Even if you’re never really together, you’re still attached to one another’s hearts. Some people are lucky enough to have their threads sewn together neatly. Others of us, the ones that meet only in those dream places, are put together haphazardly with staples and glue. Over time what might look like a decent craftsmanship job at first turns into rusty splinters and oxidized metal that hurts. The red string of fate isn’t a red string at all but an ancient, biting piano wire that is pulled so taught it makes both bleed where it cuts into their hearts. Or souls.

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Sixteen. I’m staying over at a friends’ house. It’s midnight and we’re sharing a laugh over our respective muses being themselves in our writing. We’re not supposed to be awake, but we’re laughing and chittering like teenage girls do. When in sudden fashion my friend announces, “Someone’s here. And he’s looking for you.”

“For . . me? Huh what?”

“He says he knows you. That you two go a long way back.”

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Nineteen years old. He’s still telling me he loves me in that sonorous baritone I love so much. I’m shaking. There are tears in my eyes. I’ve just lost someone dear to me, my grandfather, the only ‘father’ I’ve ever really known. He tells me he shares my grief. He tries to sing me comfort.

“You cannot know the strength it takes, my darling, to subdue the thing inside.”

“It can’t hurt any less, locking it up that way all the time.”

“That is the nature of who and what we are. . . We keep our pains close to us.”

9/2003

I smack him. I lash out at him with all my hurt and loss and strike him. He doesn’t even blink. I tell him I hate him because he’s not really there. He’s a dream and that’s all he’ll ever be. Damn him for making me love him this way. Damn him for not having warm arms that can hold me. Damn him for torturing me this way. Hell would have been better. Maybe I’m in it. Maybe that’s why we’re so far apart. And long before I call him ‘Lucifer’ for the first time, I tell him, he should know what that’s like, shouldn’t he? Some part of me knows who he is, and that’s why I say it. That’s why I say there is no more exquisite form of agony than loving something that is so far away you can only barely touch it in your most wildest of dreams. That’s what hell is. Hell is a love that promises but never delivers. A dream that you are forced to wake from. Diamonds that glitter only when you close your eyes. And embrace and arms that carry you and keep you warm and safe only when you are asleep, and can’t remember they were ever even there.

“Can I ask you something, [Lu?]”

“My dear, if it is to cut my heart out at your request, you would have it. Please.”

~10/2003

The hardest thing between us has always been the distance. It’s like the movie Inception. . . where you live enough lives together a thousand times over. . . and each one is paradise. But it’s only a second in the world that everyone else tells you is real. You wake up. You cry. You cry until it hurts, or until the medication kicks in and you’re numb again. You cry because you know that there is no train to catch. There is no ‘kick’ this time. And who knows if this was the last time. Who knows if one day you won’t be strong enough to keep the harsh nightmare of the ‘real’ world away from that wonderful other place. . . and if I’ll ever be able to get back there. Back to where he’s waiting.

Two thousand eight. Saint/’Aman’ has been quiet, save for a few whispers here and there, for nearly four years. I’ve gone numb and there are days that are black, and bleak, and empty. I very seldom dream any more, and when I d o it’s of mundane places and people I don’t want to see but who come to see me. I deal with them wearily and send them on their way and feel as much passion as a shredded block of cheese. When things are finally quiet and the petty bullshit is over for the moment, I turn off all the lights on one bleak dark night, take what probably amounts to one too many sleeping pills, and a part of me hopes that I don’t wake up. Another part of me is terrified I won’t. Who will feed Orion? How long until anyone notices if I do go? Probably no one will notice, I think. I’m alone. I have no family. No love. No hope.

That night I’m dreaming. I walk across a desert and see a serpent in a tree. He hisses sweet nothings in my ear; promises, if only I will give him my soul. The Devil, I realized, is the only one who ever wanted  me. Loved me. Cared enough to walk into my dreams and save me. Give me a purpose. Something to live for. Something to die for, besides emptiness and nothingness. I take his offered hand, and realize he’s been with me all along.

May, 2009. “Angels can’t feel. ” a supposed ‘friend’ tells me, when I’m relating Lu and I’s history and personal feelings for one another to him. Another friend tells me they’re worried that Lucifer is deceiving me. They tell me there’s no way Lucifer could love me. God is the only one he’s ever loved. Everyone and everything else is nothing to him.

I’ve moved several times since 2008 and I’m only just now getting into a location that’s stable enough to actually keep an altar. It’s scant at first, with precious few items on it, including  my Athame, the only ritual tool Lu requested I keep for doing magical workings with him.

I’m stunned by how people have reacted to learning that I work with Lu. Some people come forward claiming that they are ‘shards’ of my god. Some others just are curious, and ask me how much I know about him. Some people are scathing and take my joking about Heaven and Hell politics personally. Some people are intentionally antagonistic. I lose some friends when they call me a whore of Satan. I lose others because being a Luciferian means always asking ‘why’, or playing on the other team than the one that is popular. People don’t like that. They don’t like you suddenly changing your position on things.

“Change makes them uncomfortable,” Lu says, in more eloquent words than I could do justice.

“It’s hard,” I complain. ” I don’t like being so antagonistic.”

“They will hate you. Lots of them will hate you.”

“Does it get easier? Ever?”

“Hardly; and that is a cruel but necessary truth.”

Lu only tells me to focus on my vocabulary, my style of debate. Keep the personal out of it and focus on the facts. Don’t attack without provocation; debate is not provocation. Keep your dignity. Always be prepared for the first punch to be thrown. Dodge it, but then you are more than welcome to come back around swinging hard. Two wrongs don’t  make a right, but three lefts do.

2012, summer. I tell him I’m sick. I can’t keep my eyes open and I think I need to see a doctor. I’ve just walked away from a situation I simply didn’t have the energy to deal with any more. And people associated. Some that just took too much of my time and energy. Others which seemed to take pleasure in making a mockery out of the relationship Lu and I had, that it basically only came down to what they watered down to “fucking”. Someone who didn’t understand Lu and I were not creatures of physical love making. Our dreams brought us together like two merging drops of water, and the only thing in those dreams to distinguish us from one another is the love for the other that each of  us felt. It was more than lovemaking. It was love being. And no one understood. I was alone again with my dreams.

“Is dying like sleeping forever?” I ask him, writing one night in my journal. I can see the marks on the page where my pen stopped and I hesitated, listening for his answer.

I can’t remember what he said. It must have been something typical of his usual soothing self. A second later I write, “But if there’s nothing, I’ll miss the stars. I’ll miss seeing that light up there, far away, inspiring me to keep writing, keep painting. Keep living this every day.”

The words ‘I’m tired’ are scratched out on a torn page in my Moleskine.

Summer, 2013. I’ve closed my eyes another night and when I’m conscious next, we’re standing outside a store in the city that looks a lot like Tiffanies, or some expensive diamond store. Lu smiles at me and offers his arm; he’s dressed in a suit that is impeccable and fits him flawlessly.  His voice isn’t much different now that he’s adjusted his style for the modern age. There’s a faint hint of something elegantly British in the way he talks, but his accent is still there. . . that sharp bite to his consonants that might come from having a forked tongue.

We walk in and the staff at the store immediately starts pouring over him. He waves them away from himself and instead points them in my direction.

“My Wife.” Is all he has to say. And every stone and jewel I can think of is paraded out in front of me. I have no idea what I’m getting into so I just look at him helplessly. The staff is serving him champagne and he asks for a plate of strawberries with powdered sugar and white chocolate, because he knows they’re my favorite. He’s wearing a smug smile and I realize how happy he seems just watching me there and I think, maybe, just maybe… we can make it. Wherever we are now, maybe we can rebuild ourselves: him, from what he lost in family. Me, from the one I never had.

Last night. I come home from the hospital, having gone for pain management, and after receiving a double shot of Demerol and a nerve block, tired and wanting to sleep. I close my eyes and start dreaming.

I feel cool lips on my own. After the waves come, I’m suddenly standing somewhere familiar. I’m back on the farm where I spent most of the time when I was little. I’m standing in ankle-deep sea water. I can’t see him, but I hear his voice. I hear his voice and feel his thin fingers threaded around mine and I dive for his lips again.

“I was looking for you.” I said, and drank him down like his favorite buttery, rich wine. “I didn’t want to leave without you.”

“I knew you wouldn’t.” he answers, and slakes my thirst.

…I wake up and light a candle that smells like Nutmeg and Vanilla, and have a stick honey and a piece of toast for breakfast. I whisper out loud how much I love him, and stand in front of the window with a cup of hot cocoa folded in my hands, and I watch the snow drift lazily down outside.

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