Once upon a time there was a fairytale based in truth, from lessons learned, shared with the world in sugarcoated bliss.
Once upon a time the reality of life was too harsh for minds and hearts to hear, so a story was woven like a web, around to painful an event.
Once upon a time the story spread like a childhood game of telephone, each person that repeated it making it shine a little brighter than before.
Once upon a time the lesson meant to be learned in this tale of woe was long forgotten until only those who’d lived it remembered the tale as it was.
Once upon a time the only hearts filled with pain were those that had lived the tragedies glossed over in the fairytales read to the children at night.
For reality is lived by us all, knowingly or not, and some burdens are to difficult to bear without a little sparkle woven in, and if the shimmer came from tears shed late into the night…
Who should know when mornings light fell, upon all who are seemingly happy as can be? With bright smiles and at times dark hearts, we all live in our fairytales to numb the bitter bite of pain.
Death became me and I became death in a time gone by. I no longer felt, it was as if I was floating while still experiencing immeasurable pain. Pain that would be the end of me as I knew myself.
I lost myself for a time, years went by. I didn’t know who I was. I only felt the absence. Death was so much more than a body in the ground for me. It was loss and grief yes. But it was also the end of childhood and life as I knew it.
It was loneliness in a room full of people. Abandonment from those closest and fear of commitment as I aged. It was finding a way to grow on my own and making mistakes I wouldn’t have dreamt of making in another time.
It was reaching my breaking point, filled with shame and doubts. No longer lovable or worthy because death had stolen from me what I could not seem to gain back in life. It was the knife under my pillow.
Yes, once in a time gone by, death became me and I became death…until the pain burned through me and I learned to stand again. Until I learned the shame and doubts were not my own. Until I learned that death was not a hated enemy or a treasured friend.
Death simply is. In the way that my living is now. Both have a time and place in our lives. We should not hurry it along. But learn to accept that it will one day come for us all. In the days before we can only stand when we are knocked down and continue loving despite the risks.
I remember the screams most now. My mothers screams….house and lawn full of people waiting. Her calling his phone over and over with no answer. Then the flashing lights.
The lights pulled up and a man stepped out. My father was inside. He asked for the parents of, she replied “I’m his mother.” Then without warning lights snatched the world out from under us. “I’m sorry to inform you…was killed in a car accident…”
I remember the words fading in and out as my mother collapsed and my father burst out of the house yelling, “what did you just say?!” Lights backed away from this wrath. Still my mothers screams…
Then people being ushered into the house. My mother in a room somewhere sobbing. My father at the table surrounded by people. My sister and I left if a house full of people talking about death. I offered refills on drinks. What else was I to do?
I didn’t understand. It’s almost 15 years later and I woke to the sound of my mothers screams. A night full of nightmares that weren’t just a dream. The words chanting in my head, “it’s him, it’s him, he’s dead…”
Tears travelled well-worn and familiar paths down my cheeks, catching on the curve of my jaw for one suspended moment in time before they continued to fall. Sometimes my hands would catch them and sometimes the paper beneath would grow another mark.
Time slowed, seconds, minutes, or hours may have passed. I know not which. Only that my heart ached as I poured out the feelings I couldn’t give a loud enough voice too. Scribbled words across paper stained with tears and sorrow.
I longed to be held, but there was no one for such luxuries. I needed to pull myself together again and stop wishing for things I could not have. A soft touch, but one that held tight, even amidst the struggle and pains that life sometimes brought.
Oh, but I longed, in the deepest parts of me, the ones I couldn’t fully explain. For such a simple yet fantastic thing as an affection that belonged solely to me. To know I could touch without restraint and be met in return with joy and comfort.
My soul needed it like a flower needs the sun, I can feel it’s strength waning at times for the lack of it. Yet still I continued on. A little more wilted as time went on. My petals growing weary and pale as the days passed and my own did not come.
I can only take comfort in the fact that one day another such as I may find me and that together our stems and leaves will twine into a strong vine and our unique petals will reach for each other to live in colorful harmony and affection.
I sat in the valley, looking out over the horizon, green grass for miles over the hills. Colorful flowers and weeds, the trees and even the animals at a distance.
And I was soothed, not just on the surface, but something in this place and moment filled me to my core. A need that always went unspoken but somehow this place knew.
I wanted to laugh from the joy it brought me, yet found myself wiping away tears instead. How long since I’d felt such peace? It was a relief for however short a time to know that it was still to be found.
I wanted to lay back and sink into its embrace, and then you called my name. My eyes searched, catching yours as you moved towards me, all shadows in the fading light.
I smiled then, my heart filling to overflowing as you reached your hands out to me and I laid my hands in yours. You tugged my body up and towards you even as I made the leap.
Our bodies moved towards each other even as our souls intertwined. And I knew then that I would forever think of you in this place that brought me such joy long after you may have gone.
An arrow is still an arrow, no matter what it’s tipped with at its start. Sugar or poison? What’s the difference…they will both kill you in the end once they find their mark, released from the bow of a skilled, yet terrible archer.
An arrow wrapped with sugar will cause an even slower death than that of its poison brother. Will still tear through your limbs and organs, rip apart your foundation until you are a bloody, sobbing mess on the floor. Harder to escape from its pain, because of the illusion of love it once gave you.
An arrow doused in poison will cause a quick death of the mind, but the heart is slower to catch up, the blood moving sluggishly through your veins even as your mind frantically tells you to react. Causing you to lay in agony, fearful of each day despite the power inside you. There is no illusion of love here, only control.
Give me neither sugar or poison from your damaged fingers and bitter mouth. Give me no illusion of love and adoration. Give me no marks or twisted deeds of your supposed control. Give me nothing of yourself, let me remain as I am. Broken but still standing. Dressed for the battle of another day, another night…
I do not long for your arrows of deceit. I long for your truth. Do you remember what that is for yourself? Give me the truest parts of your body, mind, and soul. I will bare the same to you. You needn’t rip me apart to succeed, I don’t need you to be whole again. I only need you to be capable of standing in both my light and shadows.
For you to witness what the sugar and poison tipped arrows of before have carved in me and to understand. I would be yours if you asked it. But I will always be mine. I will always know the truth even if I cannot give it voice. I will not cower from this tragic state. I will embrace the life I am meant to live.
They were like art, the way they moved together, living, breathing, glorious art that you could barely stand to witness and yet you could never tear your eyes away in their presence.
So fierce was their devotion and loyalty with their passion burning just as bright, you could be across a crowded room when they caught eyes and you felt it.
Time slowed like a thick molasses as their connection crackled and they spun a web around each other, catching those around them in it without even trying.
Bodies moving closer until it all snapped into place at the touch of their fingers, then their mouths. Damn, but were they art…in the purest form.
The kind of painting or sculpture brought to life most people see and ache at the sheer beauty of it, wish they were a part of it.
Sensual, hell downright sexual, they breathed each other’s air, bodies always touching, mouths seeking, paying no attention to those around them.
They never cared who witnessed their beauty. They weren’t putting on a show it was clear they only had eyes and thoughts for each other.
They just couldn’t help themselves, and when there’s art as beautiful as them in front of you, as bittersweet as it is at times, you simply can’t tear your eyes away from it.
Restless, I heard her call like I did every other night, unable to sleep as she cast her long, pale, silvery rays over the bed.
Her beauty quieter than the suns, but no less rare or magnificent in her own right. I lay with my hand tucked under my cheek, hair across the pillow, watching and wishing.
On clear nights I watched how she appeared to remain unchanged, yet knew she came to me as if brand new each night. On those nights I also wished for simpler times.
On the nights where the clouds tried to block her out, I watched for her to make a bold appearance. Then I wished for you to do the same. My arm stretching across the empty side of the bed and hand grasping nothing but air.
I danced my fingers over the shadows she cast, imagining it was your skin instead of the sheets. That I was able to trace every dip and curve of your body however I may have desired too.
For a brief moment that night as my fingers restlessly skittered over the bed, I looked up from the silver lines on my arms to the moon peeking through the blinds, the clouds had seemed to vanish in that moment and it was as if she promised.
That one day she’d cast her silver lines over your body beside me and grant my wish. She’d watch over me as I’d watched her through the years, tracing patterns over your skin with fingers and lips.
When the rain would start to fall I’d know she wept at the beauty she herself longed for but would never have. And that as many nights as you laid beside me she would grant me access to you with her long, pale, silvery rays.