|How is this, that the Moon should have to temper the rage of the Sun? The goddess of the night, like a full halo that hangs above the heated Earth… she doesn’t get the compliments deserving of her beauty. But then the scholars, the ones that think they know, know the truth, would place this brilliant body in the heavens as nothing more then a chunk of rock. The moon is made of cheese I think with a laugh. I would tell the ones that know, know that truth, that they should look beyond the obvious. Straight towards the moon, step to the side and peer past the glow. There you’ll see the beauty wrapped in a velvet gown spun from the night’s sky. And the stars? They are the milk that split from the Night’s breast and dotted the heavens, at least that is what my grandmother always said. I like the idea of it though. I can always think of that poor lady Midnight as my mother, my true mother.
The Sun is holding a grudge. He thinks when he sets over the horizon, when his back is turned, that his lady steps to the advances of another celestial body. Maybe the massive man of Jupiter asks her for a dance… maybe Saturn slips a ring upon her finger before placing his lips to her palm. I can hear her soft giggle, like a winter sigh, as she enjoys the attention. After all, she only has the company of her mate, truly his attention, when the night touches the day at dusk and at dawn. The time when morning’s colors of rose and yellow come bleeding through onto the deep blue velvet curtain of night. Maybe this is why that time is so odd, so foreboding. Maybe we can all feel the tension between the ancient lovers in the sky. I would tell him to step back, step away, no Sun could match the love Jupiter could offer. He would be my prince if it were my choice.
So I sit, trying to ignore the two quarreling just outside of my shades. You don’t want to hear them but how can they be ignored? So I slip my fingers over the polished keys of the music box; rummaging through the little slim box covers till once temps my fancy. A pleasant face looks back at me, a red cloud about her head and no make-up shading her features. A simple beauty belonging to a voice and the words that have always caused me to think. Think very deeply upon the dreams that swirl through my mind. I put on Tori.
It is easy to reflect upon the things that she has to say. Why do we hurt ourselves when it is just a waste? Why do we impose upon ourselves the ideas and demands of others? Not that I do… not that I care to worry about those who do not impact my life. Such things only cause the crows feet that would make me look old, worried, haggard. I would rather have those lines map something more important in my life like the worries that come to a mother’s brow. My angels: Eva Catherine, Catherine the name of many saints – Roan Brendan, Brendan the Gaelic word for little raven or brave and bold. Those furrows around my eyes… this line was when my beautiful baby girl Eva slipped off the step and this new worry mark is where my precious boy Roan got hit with a puck in practice. Those things would mean something, those marks would remind the aged mother in me that I had love for the children I ushered into this world. Those phantom faces, those angels, are only wishes right now and I would not have some stranger’s comments worry me into those lines meant for my future angels. But this is mere ramble.
The melody helps me hide from the music. I need to find something. My head turns to look at the fountain of dried flowers that sits upon my tiled floor. With a nudge and a grunt I try to draw the little man’s attention. He doesn’t want to hear me.
“Get to it will you. Or else I shall have to paint you some vivid and horrid color that clashes with your tranquility.” I bully and threaten.
The little fellow returns a grunt but he gets up. I can hear moving behind the dried flower bush. Two small jade colored hands part through the tangled web of flowers, pushing them back so I can see his large belly peeking through. The plaster made Buddha steps through and looks up at me. “Get to it fella.” I say to him, a smirk playing at the corners of my mouth “Let me be away before the Night’s husband as full reign.”
The Buddha steps out, taking but a moment to stretch his tiny body. He looks about my floor till his eyes fall upon the thing he is looking for. A black shirt, made of a fine fabric named peach skin, lies there carelessly thrown down. Slowly he steps towards it, his eyes looking towards the two cats that lay sleeping in there patchwork quilt. The sleek black one, with the silver mane, opens one honey colored eye. Her name is Jezebella and she is the world’s best mouser. Though she had never had a taste for small Buddha statues. The other furry babe, just a mere kitten though his body had already grown, was Kit Cat. A white feline, dotted with patches of gold, buff and black, his eyes soft green. Hard to believe the mistress Jezebella was his mother. He took no notice, his purrs kept him wrapped in sleep. With the felines resting, the small jade hand grabs the black shirt and pulls it to the middle of the floor.
Below his feet he places the shirt, smoothing it out with his toes till it is a misshapen circle on the floor. Simple as it is, his work was done. He slips away, moving back behind the dried flowers were he enjoyed hiding. He kneels back down, regaining his peaceful pose that so many worship far and wide.
I slip from my bed allowing my feet and hands to touch the floor. Such a primal feeling to crawl over the cool surface that is mostly only known to my feet. Slipping around, I come to sit on my rear. I let a toe slip into the black hole in my floor to swirl the water around; the dream seems a bit heated tonight. Maybe a lover’s touch awaits me, the kiss of a phantom, the taunting of a ghost? Maybe an evil awaited me down there. The face of the haggard wench that once lived in my Aunt’s closet. She would have her scissors in one hand and her green and white striped socks pulled up and over her knees. Or maybe, to my disappointment, simple meaninglessness waited me down there like so many random dreams offered.
With one flowing movement I let myself slip into the hole of sleep’s waters and wade into the dream.
In a girlish fashion I plug my nose as those warped waters close over my head. Beneath me the strong undertow nips at my toes trying to get a purchase on my foot. When it finally did secure its hold it quickly tugged me one way before whipping me the other. Spinning me and shoving me as it had a destination in mind. Off to my left a ribbon of light cuts through the murk. The riff of brilliant colors swirls upon itself like some dizzy acrobat. Undertow or not, I force myself towards the riff.
Beyond the colorful tear in the waters is a landscape not so odd for the dream. A green field that seemed endless, dropping off in the far horizon. Every now and then a weeping willow broke up the endless green. A voice was huffing and fussing behind me. Looking over my shoulder I see the well dressed rabbit standing there, eyeing his watch, worrying over the time. “I am late!” he says through worried pants. The scene is not intriguing though, so I look away. From behind the rabbit continues to plead his case. “But I am late!” Once more I glance over my shoulder to give him the advice he seems to want from me. “Late is late. Why bother going at all?” And I turn away.
There is nothing here but there had to be something here. My foot went out before me expecting to find the green field below, instead there was nothing but the open space above the well. My balance slips and I fall down the hole, like Alice moving through her looking glass. With a thump the ground below quickly stops the fall. The world below here is still enjoying the night with the moon high above. This wasn’t my lady though, the one I knew in my world. I didn’t trust this celestial body so I looked away.
“Now where did you come from my lady?”
I knew that voice even though I did not know that person. I saw him every evening as I watched my entertainment. I can look at him but I cannot find it in myself to utter his name. Like the idea of god in his heavens… Did you know the myth says God created three woman in all for Adam? The first woman Adam fell sick at the sight for he saw the matter below the skin forming as God raised her from dust and rib. Eve was the third and one we all call mother and temptress. Lilith was the second woman God created in the garden to be kept for a mate to the man. Born equal and separate of him. She spoke aloud the name of her creator and she disappeared from the garden but not from history. Eventually she would find herself as the demon of night for one old religion. What of this man? No god, to be sure, but quite heavenly in my mind. What might happen to Bethalynne in the garden if she spoke his name? Best to still the tongue.
I turn to look at him. He smiles that smile that is a touch of humor and a bit of a smirk. A man’s face is meant to be described as handsome, but the only word that comes to mind is beautiful. This man was so much more beautiful than I would ever be.
“Something troubles you?” he asks.
My response is to shake my head slowly and sigh “I never have the time to tell you the things I want to say. The words I would say to impress you, the things I would point out to show you how much alike we are.”
The moonlight catches his eyes making them twinkle. Such is my reaction that I know, were I to write this down, my words would turn into romance novel drivel. Ah hell… those authors are the millionaires.
“If you had the time you needed, what would you say?” he asks.
Ah! The right question for an absurd answer. “If I had the time then my mouth would fail me. My tongue would become twisted or my mind would go blank. You can’t know, because you are a figment of my mind that begins at this spot each night that I sleep, but this dream runs the same course. It’s the irony of my situation. The one place where anything my mind wants to happen can. A shame I cannot control what my mind will have me see.”
This man steps forward placing his palm to my cheek and whispers.
“You have all the time in the world, so say it.” So I do say it. “I need you… if only there were something between us.” At the same time, as always, there is the noise of a group of chattering people coming towards us. A massive table is there though I hadn’t noticed it before. A crimson colored cloth covers it and the table top is covered with the pieces of our tea party. The pastel colored cakes, the bowl of dates, the tea cups and small plates. The man’s attention is briefly stolen by all the commotion, he doesn’t hear me. I cannot bring myself to say it again. There seemed to be something shameful about needing someone you didn’t know. Before he can speak to me I just step away, looking towards the crowd.
“My sister, my sister!” A deep female voice calls out. It is Lianessa looking towards me. The character I gave life to but the person Brittany breathed a spirit into. Lianessa was the essence of that woman I knew in the waking world. A truer version of that woman than herself. Her Lianessa had no hang ups of the body or the family tugging on her heart strings. Lianessa was a vamp with evil in her heart but enough compassion within her to keep her from being cruel. Chaotic good. I loved Lianessa as much as her counter part in life.
Lianessa stepped out from her crowd of admirers. Her torso was bound by a tight vinyl corset, the front of it giving no outlet for her breasts. Her anatomy was forced to conform to the tight fit. The affect was her breasts pressed so closely to her chest that they formed two perfect circles peeking out of the corset top. Acres of plum velvet spilled down from her equally tight cinched waist. Her hand reached up to push away the blonde ringlets that fell across her eyes. I knew the man at my side never saw those blue eyes of hers for his own eyes could not rise above the corset top. I had to laugh softly to myself. It seemed even in dreams some males could be so predictable or susceptible to the predictions I make for them. But I would not blame him. Some beauties were dangerous, that was my Lianessa. How could he not stare?
She turned her cool blue eyes on me, that familiar smirk on her lips. “Am I interrupting something?” she questioned, her eyes crawling over the man at my side. “Or is there room for another?” A low laugh rolled out and over her tongue.
“You’re not interrupting a thing sister. Maybe we should start this tea party.” Came my answer.
The small gathering of people dispensed, moving around the table to find their seats. There was a small quarrel over who might find themselves next to the lady Lianessa. To calm the tempers Lia simply grabbed the man most to her liking and sat him down before taking her seat upon his lap.
To my right my own gentleman took his seat, making sure to move his chair an inch so that our elbows bumped when we sat down. We fell into idol chit chat, conversations of no importance except to keep the party moving on. To my surprise, as I lent my opinion to the state of refereeing in my sport – to a dream man who had never heard of sports, I felt the touch of something warm. A hand, so much larger then the knee it came to rest on, finding my leg under the table. The last word caught in my throat causing me to sound like a parrot screeching out a misshapen word. The smile was still there on the man’s lips as if he didn’t know what caused me to stutter.
I could feel the blush heating my cheeks. The blush that started underneath the man’s hand and worked its way up my leg, over my spine before spreading across my face. Could I ever be the woman who had the most perfect poker face? Could I ever hide the things that swirled around in my head? The crimson color of my face suggested no. To worsen things another degree the butterflies were now awakened from their long slumber. They beat their wings against the insides of my belly like little dragon beasts below. So violent and anxious they were to get out that I feared a painted moth might dart out should I open my mouth.
“Don’t you know it’s rude to start a party without your host? But than what can I expect of Americans anyway? Such a low class bunch of souls.” A deeply French accented voice said to the table. There stood the tall form of the man who was the same here as he was in life, Monsieur Dominique. His eyes moved from person to person, briefly pausing on me to offer a smile, then moving on to find the Lady Lianessa.
The madam smiled her wicked smile. “We Americans are about as much a transplanted mutt race as you Canadians are I would think. Look at me, with the Scottish in me and countless other races running through my blood. And look to our mutual friend over there, with her Dutch and Native American. It is such an arrogant thing to suggest any of us are of lower class than anyone else. After all, we’ve all stolen the land from the people who once owned it… of course they were a much better race to know you could not own the land that belonged to nature.”
The monsieur scowled and waved a hand at Lianessa as if to cast her off. “Don’t you have some little man you should be beating Lianessa?” In much the same manner Lia waved back and snapped “Don’t you have some Queen’s ass you should be kissing, my fraudulent Frenchman?!” And so the mating dance of the sadistic couple began.
The exchange was just another example that each breed had its own mating ritual. To the beautiful and evil, this ritual was almost cruel but the attraction was there. My only criticism was that we all had to be witness to it. It was all very distracting. Especially when my butterflies had done good to morph into small dragonflies that now blew their little flames in my tummy. All the while I was trying to find the catchy thing to say that might keep the attention of my suitor on me. My moments with him, truly with him, like this, where few and far between. Somewhere he most likely had some lady to adore him. A fine female creature who had long ago moved beyond being a woman child, unlike me. I could never quite let go of the girlish thing in me that caused great difficulty in referring to myself as a woman. Always feeling I needed to be just a bit older to truly understand the world around me.
As the insults flew between the madam and the monsieur, my gentleman lost his interest. His gaze moved back to look at me, to offer another smile. He leaned close to my ear as his hand pressed closer to my inner thigh. He whispered, and I could feel his breath on my ear. He spoke soft and low, “Come walk with me.” At that moment I coughed up a butterfly wing in my excitement.
I stood up so fast that the chair beneath my legs fell backwards with a clatter, but no one noticed. The quarreling couple were inches from one another, firing back and forth like their words were some demented tennis ball. Neither of them wanted to lose the match. The crowd around the table was caught up in the spectacle. The two of us walked away without so much as an eye finding us gone.
“Why do you think I wouldn’t need you?” he asks.
I look at him sharply and feel the blush returning. The daisies below my feet taunt me, telling me in their little whispers that such a rose color was quite stunning on my cheeks. The butterflies still themselves for a moment, they’ve got to hear what I’m going to say. I don’t want to disappoint them but truthfully I hadn’t thought he had heard me. And now that he put the question to me I felt rather foolish. In fact, I wished that I could be a simple creature… the kind of sleeping mind that simply dreamed of being naked in public. But no, I had to be more creative and now I suffered the effects as I tried to put into words the things I wanted him to know.
“Well… it’s hard to explain. You see I can understand it because it is one of the thoughts that swirls around my own head. But to put into words is a different thing…”
He smiled, a small smile, to show he thought my situation quite humorous. But of course, he was the phantom. I took his hand.
“You see, it is not so much that I need you, but someone much like you. The humor that is in your voice, the attraction I have to your appearance, what girl wouldn’t want her ideal? I have had two lovers in my short life, both men I thought I loved very much. Neither of them was exactly what I wanted in a man. Neither offered me the equal of the attentions I gave them. It seemed unfair to me then and yet I felt as though I was somehow deserving of this. The man is a different creature to the woman and rarely are our actions reminiscent of one another. I thought this was how they loved. I was young and I lacked the typical type of life that allowed me to know how lovers treated one another. I mean my own parents have such hate for one another. How am I to know? Till one day I awoke to either of these men and realized I was lonelier with them then I have ever been alone. So I left them, but five years was spent between them and I learned.”
I paused, looking up at him and wondered how so much light could come out of such black eyes. They almost reminded me of my mother’s eyes, as black as bits of mica. I sighed, realizing I was letting myself fall into the rhythm of a dreary, love spent woman. I did not want him to think this of me because that was not true. I was only confused and I needed to explain this confusion to someone, even it was only to myself in a dream.
“I learned what I wanted, learned you should never settle where love is concerned. But when I see you in this place I realize, with your humor and your man like actions that these are the things that I need because it’s been lacking in my life. How much time do I spend alone? Making my dinner alone, to dine alone, to eventually hide away at my drawing table to dream something into creation? I can’t claim that I am lonely because I am not. I do enjoy my time alone, I would still want this time whether a man shared my bed or not. But that is not my problem, not really. I have enjoyed the advances of men but they confuse me so. Their eyes fall on what they see here…” I open my arms and shrug my shoulders. “They usually like what they see, though they can be so critical. Woman are chastised for their vanity and yet many a men judge that same woman by her outward effects. All I’ve ever wanted was for someone to look into these green eyes of mine and see what swirls around beyond them. Someone who wouldn’t call me silly or consider my ideas trivial. Someone who didn’t think me foolish for loving my God, talking to my plants or weeping when my team is knocked from the play-offs. What man would want someone like me, like that? What man could suffer my dry humor or my warped sense of what is funny? What man would want to attach himself to a woman who is so… eccentric, though she lacks the age or money that is usually the cause to use that word for a nut, or for me an artist? Who would need the long haired girl with the whispery little voice? Could any of you understand the idea of having a cloud on your tongue or eating ginger daisies till you were sick? Why would someone like you ever need me? This is what I think of most people… maybe because so seldom have I ever needed anyone or has anyone ever needed me. It’s confusing when I try to sort it out in my brain. This would all be so much easier if you were simply the object of a wet dream. But unfortunately…. there’s not enough symbolizing in it for me. And it’s not like this is so important, or so unique to me. The world over suffers the same as I do. I just have the luxury of expressing it somewhat more poetically than them.”
The blush subsided. Embarrassment can only last so long. Though I had to wonder why I could never be so open in the waking world. Why none of my friends ever heard such sentiments from me. If they only knew how deep some shallow waters could run.
The man gave my hand a light tug and I looked up. He smiled and I smiled and for a moment I didn’t feel so foolish for being so childish at times. My butterflies were starting to rise themselves once more.
His smile increased and he leaned very close to me. “Maybe those things, the things that you mentioned, are the very things that make me need you quite badly. After all, how many men can say they love an eccentric woman… a nut like you?”
The butterflies, having heard enough, decided the stomach would not suit their purpose. So they flew farther south to tickle my pelvic bone and cause me great discomfort. But the man was drawing closer, to place his hand behind my head, to draw me near….
“My name is pronounced Dom-ee-nick!” the monsieur cried from behind me. Lianessa answered him just as loudly “Alright Dom-ee-neek! Maybe your mother should have blessed you with a man’s name if you wish me to call you by a man’s name. But then you do remind me of a little girl… always pouting!” Then the crash of the madam being lifted and thrown upon the table. The tea cups and plates flew in every direction. The guests rushed away, each disappointed that they had not won the attentions of the lady. The lady’s back fell flat against the wood table top, her nails finding the man’s neck. The monsieur’s response was to tear away the acres of plum velvet so that he might find the long pale legs hidden below. At that point, I knew enough to look away, but not before seeing the small smile playing at the corner of the lady’s lips.
I turned my attentions back to the man who was but inches from my face. But… he was not there.
“Damn!” I cried in my rage. “Always! Always you disappear before the good stuff can happen! Why can’t I just have a normal beginning and ending for once, just once!” and then, with a sudden movement, I ducked. At the same moment the Queen’s staff flew over my head. I had almost forgotten were I was. I looked over to the side to see little Alice holding her pink flamingo, taking a swipe at the small painted ball. I should have known it was the Queen of Hearts who’d come to jump on mine a few times.
The Queen swiveled round in a circle as she missed her target. She regained her composure, straightening her golden crown and standing up straight. She pointed a red painted nail at me and screamed “Off with her head!” In response I only shook my head and laughed “Go ahead, lob it off! Lot of good it has done me so far. Maybe at least the butterflies will be able to be free. I can’t see them enjoying their home in my tummy anyway!”
The Queen smiled and motioned with her ax. My interest had left me though. I was about done with this dream. I turned my back to her and began walking away. The Queen hissed and cursed behind me to which I replied in kind. Soon, the whole scene had faded altogether.
I found my resting place, found my dead friend. He smiled at me. “Another tough night for you my dear? Ah, but listen to that, I am getting the hang of this modern English!”
“Yes you are my friend, yes you are.”
Drifting and dreaming, my body growing weary, as I was slipping too deeply into dream’s depths. The sounds of the dream slowly disappeared, lost to the dull sound of waves. My friend was here to keep me from my isolation. As I let myself lay upon the feather soft floor, I looked towards my only companion. “Please, take my mind off of these things that trouble me. I find myself speaking in rhythm with some unwritten melody, some song that keeps playing itself over and over in my head. I just want to find some peaceful waters.” I say as my voice slips into a whisper.
My companion nods and opens a book, to a page, to a verse that I had always enjoyed. “Even as a flattering dream or worthless fancy…” he began “then take him up and manage well the jest…” such thoughts, such thoughts. Please go on. “Carry him gently to my fairest chamber…”
As my mind slips away, falling back to waking in much the same manner it falls into sleeping, the sound of his accented voice fades away. I often wonder, as I sit on the edge of consciousness, if the shrew was ever tamed…
And then I am awake.
The sun is shining brightly through my window, effectively turning the backs of my eyelids into white sheets of light. Perhaps this is the Sun’s punishment for siding with his lover.
Something warm and fuzzy stretches across my chest. It occurs to me, as I have to struggle to breath, that it might be wise to put Jezebella, the world’s best mouser, on a diet.
And so begins the day…