A peach-gold glow spread over the sky this evening; the air was full of the satin-smell of roses in full bloom across gardens stitched with tall lavender and buddleia. Their heads were hung low with the weight of their thoughts, the dreams of the wandering bees. Such sticky sweetness to find, to follow the trail from one place to another, until home is a distant memory.
Tomorrow marks the birthday of my landlady’s twins. They are currently clambering over one another to be first to peek over the bannister, as their mother and a family friend lay out the arrangements for a party of “some significance.” One balloon has already ended its own life without compromise, in a bang so loud that the dog saw fit to rest her racing heart outside in the lush summer grass.
(Whenever she thinks herself alone in the house, she will lift her long nose and let loose a soul wavering in the howl of ancient people; the wild roads call her blood still, but it is my voice from this eyrie heart, which brings her back. I would call with her though, had I the words of the wolf; such an aching testament to what was, and what might have been.)
These two beautiful children will be a year older, and I have known them for less time than it takes to walk from one shore to another. They have grown on me, in the way that some kids do, until I am surrogate big sister and confidante both; when their giggling whispers grew too loud tonight, I sent them on their way with the promise of a wake-up call first thing, with a breakfast fit for tiny kings and queens. That I am not much of a cook, is beside the point. You can’t go too wrong with pancakes and maple syrup.
And, watching their mother glide about the conservatory, hanging balloons and banners without needing to stretch, I was hit with such a sudden pang in my chest that I had to duck away, to stare up at the darkening sky and find stars … To remind myself that I chose this writer’s life, this solitude. This illness, this not-for-me-danke, this wandering road that still goes ever on.
I am not immortal, and that is what I would ask of myself, for a child. And the sort of dedication – the perseverance – which I know is not inherent of my personality. Whatever dreams may come tonight, let them hang on the supermoon, on a horizon boundless. It has been a dark week; I could use a little light.
In letting things go, I don’t make easy decisions. I’m a pack-rat, and tend to hoard that which gives me pleasant nostalgia, the sort of electrifying thoughts that are reminiscent of another life.
A life I could know, and never Know. Words remain within their boundaries until turned into experience. Into incidence, circumstance, situation, action. Currently, I have –
– only this heart.
And a dim light, in the west.
Tomorrow, I think I will escape to the City, to wave at the diamond-teeth along the skyline, and to wait for the frantic spill of energy at home to abate. I am as much confused by children as inclined to empathize with them. They work upon instinct; there is little, if any premeditation. When a small boy passed me on the street in 2005 and – turning to his mother – asked Why is that boy wearing a skirt? (pointing at me), it was yet another kick in the shins from Whoever, that I really should be taking more care of myself. I wore cropped hair then, and the raw bones of illness. There was little to distinguish me from my teenage brother.
I saw a photo of him earlier, posted by our mother on Facebook. He has become a man, quite without my noticing.
In trying to see all the world at once, I miss a great many things.
In trying to keep others safe, I am the one cutting the rose from its roots.
I hope the twins enjoy their party, with the sort of gut-ache giggling-wildness that only small things can really appreciate, like a kitten chasing a bubble and knowing itself to be outside of Time. That, more than anything, would make me smile, come tomorrow evening. I can’t wait to hear all about it.
Breaking my lip upon this thorn.