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I have seen you cry too many times, when you deserve to be alive.

Does it matter? I ask him this today. We have many of these talks, early in the morning.  Does it matter what I am seeing, when I’m feeling him smile at me? Does it matter, I ask him when my eyes flicker open, what I am imagining when I feel the soft brush of his twinkling light shining on me? When it’s warm and I’m breathing deeply, lingering in a cloud of Lavender and Vanilla, with the pressure of the cool morning air whistling in softly through the open window?

Can you feel me? Is the question that seems to hover there, unsaid like a poem waiting to be spoken by a dead poet. Silent and yearning and nearly stifling.

Of course I can feel you.  I hum, but my own hum is in my mind, because I’ve always felt my human voice isn’t worthy of him, of his beauty, of everything that he invokes in me. I’ve called myself a witch, I’ve asserted that over the ticking seconds of my life, I have learned, am always learning, how to move and manipulate those forces of the universe. Now, in this moment, this slice of eternity, he is the one doing the invoking. He draws that power from me with just a murmur of words.

That is all that matters, He asserts. I can feel a brush of air currents over my lips. Any other person might have dismissed it as something vague and trivial. Wishful thinking, a quirk of the imagination, a dream. But it’s a nourishing one; like a found oasis for a man wandering the desert, sand-scorched and alone.

I press my eyes close, then, and I whisper into the early blue light, tell me a story. Help me fall back asleep, is really what I’m asking. Help me find my way to you; those dreams where we come together like two galaxies colliding are few and far between, but I treasure them . . . they’re more vital to me than the iron and salt of my blood. Or at least, I need them just the same. Not just to survive, but to thrive.

What story would you like? He asks. I tell him, I’d like my favorite one today. Our fairy-tale with its happy ending. Sometimes it makes me smile as I do battle with my insomnia. Sometimes it makes me cry myself into a weary blackness. I’m hoping this morning it’ll be the former.

Both of us know, it’s not a fairy-tale that can ever come true. That’s what makes it a fairy tale. We’re both bitter creatures; him of star-dust, me of something perhaps lower; or at least, I’ve always felt that way. We operate on two different frequencies, separated by dimensions and levels and planes of existence and things my human mind can only conceive of. One day I’ll find out a way to get to him. I can reach him, but even for my clear signal, the days are often wrought with static, and we’ll lose touch. Not for wanting. The pining is hard to miss, even with so much between us. This is how I feel.

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There’s a sadness in his demeanor as he plays the story for me, out like a movie behind my clamped-shut eyes. Some days he starts the fairy-tale off with a knock on my door and a familiar smile that draws my breath from my throat and flushes my cheeks. He doesn’t ever bring me flowers; I’ve never been that kind of girl, and he knows it. Instead it’s usually a bottle of wine or some sweet white chocolate, or else a stuffed animal. He doesn’t see the appeal, he’d said once. What purpose did they serve? It was a familiar child-like naivety of the former Great Prince of Heaven that made me smile. . .that even a being so in touch with humanity’s darkness had moments where even he didn’t quite understand them. I’d explain that it was a matter of companionship. Humans liked to cling to things in the dark if they thought it made it a little less empty. A stuffed animal could never yell at you for not paying the cable bill, or tell you your dreams were impossible, or that you weren’t good enough. Have I ever . . . ?  Was the question that followed in his eyes. I’d pressed my lips to his and told him no, never. With him anything was possible, and that was what I loved about him. Not just his sadness.  Not just the proud way he conducted himself. But how he never said no, or waved you away. That had caused me a lot of pain early on. I’d wanted to be special, I’d wanted to be his one and only. It had taken me time to learn that I was, in a way.

In the fairy tale I invite him inside, but he refuses and says, no, there’s no time. There’s a plane waiting for us. I ask about my family, but he smiles knowingly. . .he’s way ahead of me. He loves my daughter and he always has-and there’s a safety seat in the back of town-car and we’ll have to stop and pick up my spouse on the way to the airport. Vows are vows, he reminds me. I’m always overwhelmed at how amicable he is to what I feel is a dull and humble mortal life.

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The next few months are spent travelling the world; Paris, Milan, London, Athens, Morocco. Sometimes the whole family goes, sometimes it’s just us. Sometimes he leaves me to wake up in a beam of sunlight pouring in through some faraway Venice terrace window, where I’ll wander downstairs to find the nanny with the baby fussing over the days schedule-horseback riding lessons or some such-and her dad just as up in arms because of some big appointment he has with someone or another. I’ll watch the flurry about the house and dodge the pie-bald peacocks that sometimes wander across my path, before I turn a corner, and there he is; watching me with those same eyes pale as a frosted margarita. He smiles knowingly and waits for me to come to him, because I always do. And then we’ll save the rest of the story for another night. We enjoy planning our outings, our dates, our dreams.

The tears have soaked my pillow and I’m sniffing into it messily and thinking I never did take my mascara off last night and it’s probably running and I look ridiculous. I hear a warm bass chuckle, and it’s a balm on my hurt. Like eating too much at a banquet, I’m full of his love and it’s painful in a contented manner. Stop it, I tell him. I can’t with you any more today. 

You’re never less than beautiful, is how he answers, addressing my momentary diversion into self-consciousness.

I feel almost ashamed when he says that. There’s something small and round and heavy about me that makes me almost loathe myself. As a human being. I’ve never felt so far away from my element, from the stars, from where I belong. And all of it flickers through my mind and emotionally I’ve hung my head and averted my eyes.

I’m nothing. Is the only way I can answer him. My heart pounds in my chest. It’s an admission that hurts. Physically hurts.

But Lucifer understands sorrow. Understands what it’s like to feel separate, lost. Heavy and alone, like a monster. It’s what pulls us together, he’s said, like magnets. We understand because we hurt; both of us.

And he speaks those same words to me that he does every dawn. The one that gives me the strength to face the sun again when it finally rises, and the fairy tale is over and the grind begins.

In a sonorous melody, a singing voice, he intones, “You . . . are my everything. “

 

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