Last night I watched the stories that slithered around me and mingled with thin air like wisps of incense.
Some of them were curvy and well-nourished. They were full of flirtations and unrestrained laughter. They distracted me so much so I could not put them down on a wavery wafer of a paper.
There were others that walked in with the ominous wooden thud of the crutches that held them up and collapsed in a heap even as they approached me. They were dressed in tatters like old beggars.
Some hounded me like a glare of reproach or the shrill tingle in the ears after a loud unexpected chime. I was indifferent to their accosting me rudely.
The ones that I liked most were the warm-smelling ones. They had the essence of the distant woods with trees that stood drenching in a drizzle. I wrapped myself in a warm layer of objectivity to protect myself from their intimidatingly beautiful provocations. They were the stories that could make you vulnerable as a flower in the soldiers’ thoroughfare. They would swallow you with a smile and a meaninglessness. They contained the peace of the disarmingly calm and defenseless monk child. They rend your innards with a silence that is alien to your normally-cacophonic existence. They were the passive white dove children. Unsuspecting, impulsive and trusting as wave froth at the mercy of your feet.
I began capturing these tiny winged playmates in a wine red goblet. As they slided down in drops into the four chambers in the goblet, they stained the walls of the goblet. They left marks of tapestries that told the tales of forgotten dreams. Often they merely stood like symbols for a reality that worked itself around you when you were sleeping.
In this exercise grows a tale that could only be read backwards. Today deciphers yesterday’s inexplicable moments and yesterday’s moments unravel the mysteries of a forgotten word from another day in the past. On and on they go flying backwards like hummingbirds in the mist. Sometimes they pause and return to the present. A face, a gesture, a word, a smile, a frown, and a pause fall in place. Things slide away from their stolid existence and comfortably fall into their appropriate positions. Yet they know that a new knowledge tomorrow could distort their today.
What face was that in my dreams that needed reworking on…the face I had never seen or known. Yet, the face that wove every memory, dream and hope. A fragrant recompense that face had been. I remove a face from my fantasies and replace a new face into them. My facts are so interwoven with imaginings that it is hard to tell them apart. My stories are amused. They wait as I smoothen out the old face from their folds. They patiently relearn and embed the new face into their essence.. a face much more beautiful and appropriate than the face they had known. Fantasy is its own reward. The old face still smiles; Its past importance unforgotten.
Even as I close my eyes now, a new story emanates. It is an evolved story and wears the new face already. The story has touch. It has a warm grip. It has a fragrance. It has eyes and a smile. It has lips that pout. It has a voice. It has hair that flutters in the breeze. It has laughter. Now shy sunlight that had hidden behind frowning red clouds descends and gently blows the mist away. An abstraction becomes a fact. A hypothesis becomes the truth. Yet the concreteness is as delicate as a fledgling and as fragile as a glass unicorn.