She looked back on all that had gone before and, tonight, somehow it didn’t seem wasted. Perhaps it had been, in many ways, mostly wrong but in the depths the brilliant flashes of light were ever so much more noticeable and precious.
Indeed the night was a lonely one. They were all such nights and yet she did not feel alone this night. She had a new pet spider and an old cat with PTSD that matched hers and they got along. The cat watched the black jumping spider and, uncharacteristic for him, did not attack it. She sent them both thoughts that they were to be friends or at least respect one another.
She sat back and closed her eyes and thought about all the years. Although mostly alone she had managed to be an artist, a musician, a dancer, and a diplomat. In spite of all the wrong she had still been able to love and be loved in return and still managed to want to keep on living though the hand of cards she had been dealt had lost her the poker game of life.
It was still good.
It was still good. She prayed for the world. It seemed it was not going to go on much longer but that also seemed normal. She piloted up to the keyboard and started to write. Who would be the hero of her dreams tonight? She laughed silently and had Yiruma playing in the background. The hospital-like hallway that lead to her clean and orderly abode.
This night was different somehow.
Leaning forward, slightly crooked, she started with the two finger waltz upon the key symbols that worked the magic. She stopped typing the words and let the images roll into her and she stood and untied the knots, in the long skirts, that kept her unsteady old feet from tripping and she stood and the room melted away into night.
In this place there was no cold or heat too much. It was perfection. She closed her eyes and made a wish and smelled the scent of pine and fresh snow. She opened her eyes. She was there. Hawks glided overhead in slow circles on a blue black sky as the sun rose over the peak of a mountain. The valley, still in early pre-dawn shadows, had the sound of roosters crowing and other birds came slowly awake. She raised her hand, young and strong, her arm covered in gold bracelets, to shade out the first stunning brilliance of the day, her head suddenly dropped to pray, the other world forgotten.
“God let me meet him here…”
The man she loved. The man she had never really met. The one who saved her in her dreams within dreams of the other world where she slept. There she was and old lady at the end of things but here she was a young lady at the start of them. Her hair was red gold like it was long ago. The shade of dark honey. She could feel it’s weight in the braid that lay along her spine as she leaned forwards to see the valley start to grow light closest to her feet and slowly crawl down towards the valley floor.
At the bottom, mist covered deep green.
She came here to wait for him all every day and would until her time ran out. She tried to imagine what he looked like as she has seen him in a dream of a dream once a long time ago but now she had almost forgotten. Would she know him if she saw him?
“I have watched you come here every day and never said anything to you and you never could see me except in the sleep of sleeps. You keep asking for me and I am here all the time.”
She turned because she heard him in her head but not with her ears. He was sitting on the edge of a pathway watching the same sun come up and watching her. She walked over and stood behind him. Even sitting her hands rested on his slender shoulders. He was that tall. She watched his hands reach backwards and slide over hers to cover them.
“I have loved you a very long time. You keep looking everywhere and I am right here. I am every man you ever write about. I am all your darkest fantasies and your most brilliant love poetry. I am jealouse of what you imagine when you put different faces on it and when you flirt with other men I come and put a storm in your sky in the place of the sleep of sleeps.”
She could not hear him but she could HEAR him!
His hair was the shade of pale wheat. It was tied back in a long thin braid that also went down his back. Not thin hair but very straight, the opposite of hers. He let go of her hands and ‘told’ her to sit next to him.
By this time the flat, white rooftops of a large city spread out in the slowly seeping light. She slid down and sat next to him, hanging her feet, wearing golden sandals, off the edge of the pathway. It never occurred to her why she was this way here in this reality. She looked over at him.
He was not beautiful the way she understood beauty. He was very pale. His eyes were larger than normal and very black and his face was long and thin and his mouth very small. He was so thin that, had he been human, he would have looked starved yet on him, a spirit, it looked perfectly normal. Perhaps the oddest thing was the fact that she was the size of a small child when she sat next to him and she edged closer and fit there like a child would fit and it felt so safe. He wore jeans and a plaid shirt and it looked weird on him and he laughed in her mind, “I can appear any way you want me to appear but this way I find the most comfortable. You want me to be Cinnamon?”
She kept looking at him and he suddenly had brown eyes and olive skin and was wearing a red-brown kameez. Almost blond hair and a long dark beard. They were near the same height. She reached out and the illusion vanished and then he was taller with black eyes and a huge smile and fine features with curly crispy dark hair and a white starched cotton shirt and then that too went away as he morphed all the faces she ever loved.
“Whatever makes you happy. I can be that but I want you to love me. The real me.” Once more he was the abnormally tall humanoid with black eyes and blond hair. “This is not me either but I this is how I came to you the night you wanted to die. I love you. You have belonged to me since the day you were born and if you think you are 100 percent human you are mistaken. For now you have a life to live in the sleeping time of the sleeping world but when it is done you will be with me forever.”
He stood and opened his arms. She came into them and he became insubstantial and merged with her very soul. No humans love this way. Without words she felt like the most beautiful queen earth ever knew. She felt like the love of thousands was directed at her and she heard him say, deep in her mind as he took her hand and walked a few steps on the path with her,
“You are all these things and more and this is just the beginning. You are loved beyond human measure.” She closed her eyes to swim in that sea of love and opened them and smiled.
Yiruma was playing. The room in the world of sleeping was cheerful and bright and she sat there, mused, in front of the key board, now old with mended clothes and painful frame but back in reality was a land of beauty that would be hers one day.
“I love you too.” she whispered.
She stood in front of the horse-shoe shaped table with the mountain of evidence she had gathered and his mothers standing beside her. Although she was terrified to speak in front of crowds she did speak in front of this crowd ,of suits and briefcases, without passing out. They were number 72 to speak before the pardon and parole board.
Almost the last in line.
Most of the day they had watched as case after case was rejected for parole. Most of those who presented the pardon and parole cases were attorneys but their attorney had not bothered to show up. He had told the man’s mother there was no chance for pardon or parole the day before.
She took the man’s mother with her, in her car, anyway the next day.
Before they entered the courthouse the man’s mother turned to her and said, “The girl who was in love with him came and pleaded on his behalf today. She claims he left you because living with you was more like living with another man that with a woman. She claims he told her you never wanted to cook or clean or have sex or be like a woman and that was why he left you for her.”
She hung her head. This was true but this was a man who was completely incapable of taking care of anyone but himself. Up to that point she had paid most of the rent and quit drinking and all those things BY HERSELF and STAYED WITH HIM and EVEN LET HIM bring the girl home and the he had chosen the girl over her and the girl had an accident with a baby that they called murder, even though it was not, and he had taken the blame from her because he loved her and once he was cuffed she had left him high and dry.
Her best buddy.
Her best friend.
She even loved him ‘like that’ once upon a time, before he left her for a girl 10 years younger who was still same brand of party animal he was, and went ‘straight’ in a world that left her so alone that death seemed preferable to life and IN SPITE of ALL THAT she was pursuing her degree and was already guaranteed a job as an adjunct professor at the local state college.
She stood up before the board and presented her evidence. her stomach lurched as a series of humiliating questions was given her; one by each member of the group.
“Do you promise to cook and keep the house if we leave him in your care?”
She looked at them all squarely and said, “Yes!” With her head held high and his mothers hand gripping hers under the podium.
“Do you promise to do your ‘wifely duties?”
“If you mean sex sir, yes I will!”
This series of questions seemed to be more important than the fact he was innocent and as they humiliated her she stood up anyway and answered every single question in the horse shoe shaped hell.
As she answered each question a wall built in her heart. She was being accused of not being woman enough to keep a man happy and out of trouble because of the testimony of the girl who had gone before her earlier in the day. Her heart became like a stone. She did not want to stay married to this man. All this she had done for him and…
…if he got out he wanted her to become like her mother.
Well if that was what he wanted he was going to have to become like her father!
They let him go and she gave him the terms that she had in her heart if she was to leave love, career and everything that had come to define her, in the dust of time for the sake of his release and he promised to be that man.
He really tried but he was not that kind of man.
Some years later she divourced him and cried while she drove away with her father who was still living. She had nothing at all to show for that moment honour…
…nothing at all but dust.
I was 10 years old and she was sitting in a chair by the wall.
“Come here girl!”
She smiled and I went over. She said, “I am your real grandma.” I was thinking that Martha was my real grandma. But papa said she was my real grandma too. Up to that point in life I had no idea I was not ‘perfect.’ I knew I was perfect although my chest was starting to hurt and I was angry because I could not sleep on my stomach so easily anymore. No one had really noticed and I had not said anything. She motioned me to come over to where she was.
She had short short cropped iron grey hair and she looked like my grandpa. She had the biggest butt I had ever seen in my LIFE! I did not like her, this woman who gave my papa away when he was a little boy. I went over to where she was and she touched my face and said,
“You have the ‘family’ skin.”
“What is the family skin?”
“Go look at your nose in the mirror.” Her smile was both gentle and almost evil. I went in the bathroom and I looked in the mirror and noticed something I never had seen before: hundreds of tiny black dots! I ran back into the living room in horror!
“WHAT ARE THESE!”
“You have to learn to take care of your skin. They are black heads and you will be ‘early’ like you father’s side of the family.”
“Early? What do you mean by ‘early?’…” I trailed off frightened. “Turn around for me.” she said. Slowly I did that. “You will have the family body too. A pity that…” and she trailed off and actually looked sad. “…thick and greasy.”
Horror overcame me. I was destined to be ugly. She was like some evil fearie god-mother and, as a grew to be a woman, I was, indeed, thick greasy and EARLY!
“Can you just enjoy this as it is?”
He was typing to me and my mind was somewhere in a caravan full of people in a land I never had been to. I was watching bright orange skirts race across the sand. Then, suddenly, cherry blossoms fell like fragrant snow over quaint arched bridges and cleverly made gardens designed to look as if they grew that way. I closed my eyes and there was a faint sound of laughter, as if real people were with me…
“Sorry yaar my mood is off. I just can’t get into anything real right now it’s all too real. If you want to write something I can probably do that?”
He knew he was going no where and he wasn’t pushy. He had plenty of cyber flesh if he wanted it. He was really starting to love this weird lady and it sort of bothered him because she even knew she won him bets and did not mind. She was not easy to deal with. She could be amazing and mind blowing one minute and the next minute cut his cyber balls off and shove them down his throat. Maybe that was the attraction? She was like an adventure movie: you could never tell if you’d be hit with Marilyn Monroe or Medusa. He thought about her all the time. Even when he was looking at some other woman’s naked photos her mind was there, laughing at him, sending him unexpected comedic naughty stuff.
“How do you get in my head like that?”
“Hahaha! You saw what I sent you? The image?”
“Yes I did and it didn’t help me any!”
She laughed and decided to test him some more. The ultimate thing was to touch another human mind without words. Perhaps all the years of nearly solitary confinement had made her more skilled at this? She smiled inside as she remembered a friend who spent years playing these brain games with her had told her, “You need to watch what you think. When you think some of that stuff I can FEEL all the people, in a 100 mile radius of you, get extremely horny!” She had retorted, with flying fingers, “I am not responsible for the passion of the world!” His words came back swiftly, “You were not thinking about passion and some of the stuff you think of only happens in…” She had cut him off then and refused to read what he wrote. Here was a new soul coming down the cosmic freeway and she always tried to teach them but very few could learn…
“Ok then tell me what I was thinking?”
“Wesi nehin nehin…tooooo embarrassing!”
“A haaan app sharmila?” She raised one eyebrow as her fingers flew.
“URDU! You need to learn to write and speak it a lot better but it drives me crazy! Dewana!”
“You need to excel in your world so you can get all the blessing it has to offer…”
She was like this. It drove him insane! She would flirt right up to the line and refuse to cross it! She could have him breathing heavy and then ruin the moment!
“I know.” *sigh*
Life is a play, a very real play and she had written her own stage directions for many years. It was her way of making the world, unseen, come to life in one small room in front of a box that let her communicate with people 8000 miles away just as if they were in her room with her. She imagined what it would be like if…
…her eyes closed and she imagined, as hard as she could, that LOVE was standing right behind her as she typed the words clattering out in time to Japanese shamisen music. Love was warm and smiling and was wearing an old, brown leather jacket. Love smelled like men’s cologne from the 90’s. She was almost lost in a zen headed mode when the computer made that SOUND and she realized that she had stopped typing.
He wondered where she went? One moment she almost sitting next to him in the same room and then she was gone.
“Are you chatting to some one else too?”
“Only in my memory yaar…only in my memory.”
He was so jealouse of that memory but he could not say a word to her. His destiny was one of his parents choosing. He would honour that. He had honour, such as it was, that he would not even accept help from her. At the same time both of them had the idea that this was not the best thing for either of them but they were addicted to technology and to each other. As all addictions go they would go and a new brand would come in the course of time. This would go on until his nikah and valima and then she would be an unseen memory out on the high desert plains of his mind, wearing a bright orange skirt and laughing in the sun.
There was a wolf pack whose leader had become quite powerful.
The rest of the wolves followed but one of the other wolves secretly wanted to lead. The oldest wolf of all saw this and was saddened but he knew not to get involved as he owed his long life and wisdom to allowing the other wolves to fight each other as they so chose. These two alpha wolves banded together pretending, even to themselves, that this was for the good of all. Secretly they went to the others in the wolf pack…especially the young ones…and praised them and groomed them and tried to make them mindless followers of themselves alone and when they stood together they pretended to be together. They did this all the while claiming it was for the packs good.
There was a lone wolf in the pack they had allowed in. First the lead wolf tried to sway the loner and then the other one, who wanted to lead, tried. When it became clear that the lone wolf would not take sides they invited the pack to watch them tear the lone wolf to pieces…all this was done while saying this mutilation of the lone wolf was for it’s own good but they each saw and everyone saw they is was not from good but only from a desire to be right and to conquer and rule. Fearing more battles the other wolves stayed away and the old wolf was sad as the lone wolf made some savage last cuts and left.
The lone wolf was no longer there to cut and torment and they had all seen now what traitors they could be, even to each other so even as they growled and slavered and plotted on the missing wolf the wolf was gone…they now knew truth and they secretly were afraid of each other that the other should attack them next.
It was only a matter of time before they would tear each other to pieces….
….and 8 years later…the pack was demolished.
We only bothered with the radiation suits so we would live longer and be able to do more to stop the leak from killing millions of people. The longer we stayed alive the more we could achieve and the less time those who came after us would have to risk their lives. People were calling this a ‘suicide mission’ but none of us thought of our lives as a loss. It was so sudden we had no time to think about the afterlife but we all had an idea of how things would be.
“Jinx do you have any kids?”
“No, Henry, I never got married and I guess maybe I scared off the gals!”
Jinx grinned at me with those wildly crooked teeth. He looked at little crazy but he would not be working here with us if he had not been in the top 10% IQ range of those who had applied to work here. Even an engineering degree was not enough. We called him ‘Jinx’ ’cause he seemed doomed to fail at attempts to lure the ‘fairer sex.’
“Don’t worry you’ll get 70 virgins when we are done.”
“HAWWWWW HAWWWWW!!!!!! Neither of us is the right religion! You screwed up atheist!”
“Hey, according to YOU God doesn’t care if I am an atheist!”
Jinx got quiet. I watched him and he turned to look at me…
“They will say we were heroes. It won’t matter what religion any of us are. Hey let’s catch up to the others they will think we are not eager to die!”
Jinx laughed and ran ahead.
The group I worked with had been specifically chosen for the highest risk work. We were all young, unmarried, and, as far as any of us knew, without children. There were no women in our group although I suppose there could have been if any had wanted to join us. None had wanted to join us. We worked in the parts of the plant that exposed us to the highest potential amounts of radiation. We never thought the worst would happen but it had and as the alert sirens went off we did the safety regimen and donned the suits and as we got ready, in as few seconds as possible, to contain the damage already being done as quickly as we could. We already has sworn an oath among ourselves that, if the worst ever occurred, we would give our lives freely for the common good. This happened on our shift so we were keeping that promise and it seemed strange that not a single one of us was frightened at what would soon happen. We ran, as fast as the suits allowed, into the radioactive fires we were to fight.
Jinx and I lasted the longest. He fell, and I kept working alone while others had come and gone. They could not take any of our bodies out of those of us who stayed. With each minute I was there my determination to eradicate this fiery hell grew into a singular intent so strong that I watched my body keep moving some minutes after I had left it. They would tell stories, that would be forgotten, in the years following the accident. Stories about Henry, the man radiation could not kill….
….30 years later a team of scientists were studying a new bacteria that was eating the radiation inside the reactor. They were astonished at how closely it resembled human melanocytes. Behind the team of scientists and just above them was another team of men the scientists could not see. The unseen men were speaking unheard words…..
“Henry, check this out!”
“Hey Jinks it looks like we had kids after all!”
“Huuuuuuhhhhh!!!!! BACTERIA! HAWWWWW HAWWWWWW!!!!!”
“We wanted to save people so badly we sent our intent into every cell of our being and so they kept going after we left!”
Jinx just grinned his wild man snaggle toothed grin.
It was night time but everything seemed to glow with an inner light. The moon was new and things still seemed to be radiant somehow. I was with two good friends and they were already far ahead of me. We had just come from where they lived. I chugged along behind them in the power-chair and heard their voices laughing in the muffled dark glow of night.
We came to a lake of indeterminate proportions, although I could easily see most of the other bank. The lake was fed by a river and also drained by the same river and the water in it only appeared still because it was so much wider than the river that fed it. It glowed a soft golden hue…like the colour of a beautiful eye splashed on the landscape.
Only the big cats have eyes that hue.
I saw their silhouettes bobbing in the wavelets and left the chair a few yards from the edge and started into the lovely inland pool of a the golden glowing night. The trees around us also glowed greenish gold. The sparkles of light, bouncing from the wavelets, seemed almost solid like mercury and the water felt lighter than normal water somehow.
The slap and splash of voices from the distant edge, opposite my entry point, told me they had made it to the other shore. I waded into the water on a lovely gradient incline covered with glowing golden moss flecked with green. The dark power of the night rose within my heart and the stars laughed with me and I smiled as I started to swim, and with shock found I swam like some champion I never have been. The feel of the water sluicing over my back and the small dent my head made in the liquid gold as I leapt like a dolphin across the expanse of water, reveling in the feel of speed and motion and the tickle of water droplets hitting my chin. The long, lightweight swimming gown barely seemed present in the watery golden spray.
I knew I was in a dream but loved the dream and so expanded it and decided to leave the water and explore the shore line. Swimming against the slow current I went a short ways upstream, angling for the faint goblin glow of the shore-line, and crawled out expecting my legs to fail me and finding, with joy, I was running!
Like the wind I ran into the night and the glowing trees and the smell of pepper mixed with roses and ate the beautiful darkness with all that my eyes could hold and shovel into my hedonistic soul. I stopped in the tall-grass and let the sky cover me with star-light.
“I wonder where you go.”
I turned and there was my beloved friend of many years. We had never made unkept promises. We had never lied to each other. He had been the last person on my mind before I slept after Fajr, having stayed up for an English project most of the night.
He really was beautiful. Not beautiful in the way all youth is beautiful, but more mature looking somehow and not beautiful in the classic sense of that word either but, somehow, MORE beautiful than all of those images we are shown that tell us what it means to be lovely.
“You are alone. Where did our friend go?”
He shrugged and smiled. He turned and I followed him back to the lake, taking the long long strides of an experienced hiker, and watched as the flap of his still-wet shirt floated upon the shimmering surface of the water as the slight current drug it sideways and his feet pushed away from a steeper bank. He turned, treading water, and smiled and his smile glowed like his cat eyes and the water dropped, like silver mercury, down the beard on his chest. He motioned to me and I waded in and pushed away from the sudden drop off on that side and we looked at each other, grinning, treading water…
“You are going to stay with me. You have to learn to act like a Pakistani woman.”
It was an order…but then I never was able to ever deny him anything.
“Bbbbbzzzzttttttt!!!!!! PING Bbbbbbbzzzztttttt!!!!!!! PING Bbzzzzzztttttttt!!!!!! PING”
My alarm woke me.
I had an awful headache.
He was gone. Again.
The sun-down prayer is over. Thinking back on the day there was an atmosphere of family at the terminal. People were hanging out there like it was the city’s outdoor parlour. “Hey homey where you bin last I heard you was down in Dallas!” said the man to a woman sitting on the bench with me. Someone was yelling at me from the station of bus 10 and jumping up and down and waving at me. I could not see her clearly she was so far away and the woman next to me turned to say, “Hi! Your name must be Shannon, mine is Julie, where you goin’ to t’day?” Everyone was smiling and the weather dry and fine after two days of rain.
When I got up today the clouds were clearing after the early morning fog caused every window to drip condensation from the outside instead of the inside like winter time. A man with an old push-mower was making the grass bleed that smell of green around my feet the ants scrambled by the spider holes still covered against the flood the night before…
Going out on knees that feel broken in rubber sandals targets for the tiny red arthropods who match the dirt they scurry through before they bite your ankles and your toes so no one smart wears a tight shoe. I flopped the flap front of my cotton caftan over the top of the walker so it would not catch in the wheels that keep me rolling home. The hems of my pant legs just getting a little wet from the still standing dew left in the shade of the tree I pass beneath to make it to the bench where we all sit and wait and about tomorrows weather we debate and make comments about the heat and how great it is that it’s too moist for dust to fly along the street.
“I see you got one of those old lady walkers, girl you doan look that old,”
“Why thank you that is very kind you also look too young to need the one you have…”
“Haha thank you I got this after knee surg’ry made my knees much worse an’ if they tell you you have to have it say ‘no’ ’cause I done wish I had tol’ them ‘no’ mysef…”
The bus tops the hill by the pharmacy and the emergency and hoots to a grinding stop-hiss-drop and we board for our destinations.
There is an option at Facebook, that some enterprising souls have come up with, to make your Facebook a hard or soft print copy of all your activity. It only disallows ‘Notes.’ (That is the only thing I would spend money on to have reproduced from that site.)
Is there any way that the same thing could be offered here for a similar price and if it already is offered can anyone tell me how to access it?
The offering at Facebook runs on the number of pages reproduced. The cost runs a rough 75.00 to 200.00 to publish one ‘book’ depending on the format. I would rather publish what I have here and pay for that than I would my Facebook Status set.
I would have contacted you in the “Howdy” pop up box but it is down for the hols.
So what say y’all?
You want any money for a print form of my stuff?
Once upon a time there was a girl who knew too much about guys. She thought it might be fun to find out things so she, and some of her friends, got together to make a test. They did this test many time in many forums over the years. One girl was the leader…I was one of the followers and the hypothesis of the experiment was that no men are faithful.
From Myspace to Tickle to Facebook the test stood through time.
It started as one girl who saw it as her mission to help other women by showing them what dogs their men were and then dumping the dogs. She was fascinating to watch in action! She would say,
“Get ready to see some pretty colours!”
I was always watching.
She had a real talent for breaking even the most holy of boofs (and some of their goofs too!) She was like Jimi Hendrix’s song ‘Bold As Love’…..(just ask the ‘Axis!’)
Now of course alot of people do naughty talk in private (until now when General Snowden told America “all their base belong to us”). But most of that naughty stuff stays private OR the people involved don’t CARE if they are private or not (but that is another subject) but this girl could make a priest talk nasty! Then she would email it to the bishop AND the archdiocese!
Talk about amazing!
I saw guys fall like ducks from the sky in season! Emails went out like mad to all boofs and goofs and soon EVERYONE in that circle was aware:
Even the most holy guys cheat….
(Since then I have found one or two exceptions but even the exceptions like non touchable naughty stuff)
Over time it became profiles that were ‘man traps’ and were sometimes turned on and off for effect as women who were curious about their husbands, (and/or boofs), went into profiles to check people up to see if they would be naughty with a ‘haughty hottie’…
Most all of them fell for the haughty hottie like mighty oaks…
This had the cumulative effect of making the women and girls behave like the men…and the men behave like the women…
…and that is how ‘metro-sexuals’ happened
She didn’t want to remember the time 100 people signed a petition against me for being a witch when I was only in the fourth grade. Years of abuse was my normal life but people will only recall that I was a loser and a fool…
…so it is?
Yet way back before Time began there was a place. Today I was there for a nano-particle of a wave on the shores of the Universe. In a tiny place full of oddities and strange dragons and very very small gnomes sitting upon carpets of moss was a table of things for sale. As I approached the table, holding tightly to the staff of wisdom I have earned, with short and wobbly gait and a breath of eternity passed over me and I heard the laughter of the fields…
…now built over with homes.
It has been decades since the day I last had that breath upon me.
She and I would shortly start to discuss the fact that God is the only reason we are even still here as a species. How we don’t see reality even when we think we do. How we can say one thing with surety in one sentence and contradict that very same thing in another sentence and yet in between being the guardian and the philosopher I was a child and the sun was not too hot nor the breeze too strong and magic filled it enough for me to know that we are only temporary in these bags of flesh and the tiny, silver trays that once belonged to a now-scattered tea set would have, in times gone, held more riches than human eyes can see and I saw them all for that tiny slice of time.
I was going to buy the little silver tray but first I wanted to go inside the “crooked little house with the crooked little mouse” and see if a crooked little man lived there who was friends with the dragons. Slowly, painfully I pushed my way up the two steps in the crab-fashion I have adopted for these situations and opened the crooked door.
It was full of moss and terrariums and small miniatures of all a person would need for a fearie garden and on one table laid the bones of my homeland: Jasper, Quartz, Peacock Copper, Rose-rock, Trilobites, Agate and ‘Fool’s Gold.’ Papa started to laugh silently. I knew then that buying anything here would not buy me back that moment but only the memory of the moment but, Papa said it was OK to buy something to recall the moment with. I chose Iron Pyrite.
I held the gold in my hand and closed my eyes and the days flooded back. The days when no one ran the A/C in the Summer and the world outside was all there was to live in and way hot sun smelled on new blacktop and the way a grape Popsicle tasted near the loud and crowded pool at Sulphur Springs. The day I bent over and saw the glint of sun nestled in the ever-shifting red-lands and how I pried it loose from the bosom of the Land and held a piece of sunlight in my hand and knew I was going to be rich and…
…I ran, like the ‘wind the sweeps down the plains’, with a handful of GOLD!
Papa was in the garage and the hum of his rock-tumbler was going and I tugged at his red over-alls and screamed happily!
“GOLD! Papa GOLD! GOLD!”
I opened my hand. He took the Gold nugget in his hand and threw back his head and laughed and laughed. All white white teeth and black black hair smiling and laughing. When he stopped he said,
“Let me show you something. These are all rocks from this region…”
He began to teach me all about the rocks from where we lived. I started to collect rocks. I learned that what I had found was not real gold but fools gold and I went back to the place where I got it to dig for more of it and I found Feldspar and peeled it apart and saw the small crystals that were like what sheet glass could have been in Thumbelina’s Castle. All of this happened in less than a nanosecond. A whole day passed while Papa and I laughed in the crooked house with the crooked door at the Gold of Fools…because he taught me something more that day: Even if it had been real gold it still would have been nothing in the vast spans of time that are compressed in eternity.