Sunday, November 22, 2015

Excerpt from work-in-progress, What We Know, We See

Early this summer, housebound and in between the edits for Prosecco & Paparazzi and beginning Cognac & Couture, I began a book, called What We Know, We See. It is about the connection of two souls who never really understood each other. Too many words have remained unsaid and the couple know each other by actions and deeds. And while that sometimes is for the best, in this case, years have passed, and the silence is still disquieting.

I hope you enjoy this snippet. The book is in the very rough stages – really rough, actually – but it speaks to me, and what I think love might be, when one can only take cues, because the words that are spoken are so in contrast with actions that they render the speaker virtually silent.

Overlooking Puget Sound, August 21, 2015

I have a thousand thoughts to share, and as I sit here, amongst the mess that is my office, I wonder if I ever will. That’s what happens when one falls in love with a complete stranger. One wonders a great many things. A stranger connotes many things.

A person who does not know us is inherent in the problem. A person we do not know. A person who is a complete puzzle. Rather than recount what I do not know about you or you about me, it is easier to say what is known. But that is not what I wish… not what my heart wishes, to focus on.

From the first moment – the first synchronization of heartbeats, the first hello – to the last email, I have been lost in a dream of possibilities. Yes, I wake up from time to time. I clatter to earth when razor sharp words are bandied about. You are with her, doing something normal, everyday’ish. I crash to earth when you do something, like travel to places I may have been. I find my heart and my brain straining to place you on the map, locate you on a corner, imagine you inside a restaurant, wonder if you are picking a Malbec or a Bordeaux. That I know these things. Regrettable.

I asked you, “Is this real?” Your answer was instant. “Yes.” My heart leapt. We are real. We are not just a fantasy that I have concocted. We are. For a few fleeting minutes, or was it hours, that was enough. But then uncertainty sets in. Right now, this very minute, we are living very real lives, that are worlds apart, so infinitely different they cannot be compared. So, how real can we be? My real. Your real. That we breathe, that we sleep, that we eat, that we drink. That is what we have in common.

Silly girl that I am, I have found myself lost in fantasies many times where you boldly take my hand, walk down the street beside me, kiss me, are seen with me. Then you get in your car and drive away to do crazy things, like shop with for snow tires, purchase patio furniture, go on vacation, plan tomorrow with her. Jealousy. It isn’t something that I am proud of, but I am. I am jealous. Yet this morning when I woke-up to the fondling hands of my lover, I didn’t turn him away. How could I? He has been my world, he is my world, he is my link to all that says, ‘I am.’ Silly girl that I am, I think of you as his hands slide across my body, as his mouth tastes me, and I know that if I try just a little harder, I will smell your scent in the air. But a line must be drawn somewhere and here I draw it. Of all things, why your scent? A mystery.

I bend and sway in the wind, as if I have no worries in the world, but I have once again transformed myself to be someone’s whim. I move and bow at your command and I slowly grow too unfamiliar with myself. This is what I fear the most. That I am unrecognizable to myself. I have lost myself so many times before. “Are we real?” I do not know. Perhaps all we are is the manifestation of what we are looking for when what we have is not enough. A card trick, a sleight of hand. Magic.

Why did you pick me? Did you think I was strong enough to withstand this jealousy, this torture? Or did you see me as someone who was malleable and pathetic? I once felt powerful in your arms. You wanted me so much that I had power, I had appeal. I am now… not. But to reveal all this to you – can I? No.

My path is certain, my compass points true, and the words I spoke one autumn day are truer than ever, “I am loyal to a fault.” You will never know how much I wish I could change this. These rules of society, of religion, of love. They shroud us, eventually. Once they were comforting and promising. But now, in a world where people live far too long, these words, these vows, they are only the words of people who couldn’t fathom life that lasted forever. All our words and actions are recorded, to be replayed over and over for many generations to come. The things that we do, good or unseemly, are never to be forgotten.

Is this real? Yes. Can this be real forever? I do not know. Neither do you.

The dandelion bows to the wind and the seeds take flight, and though the promise of another flower is sown in damp soil, our love, I fear, it withers on the stalk.
Copyright, Celia Kennedy, 2015

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