I almost turned around to the sound of your voice. But every bone in my body told me to keep walking. I only want you to know that I tried. I must execute extreme precaution. There’s a game at play, you’ll see. Mostly it awakens in the night. It wants to eradicate me. It is not possible for me to exist. I enliven the eyes searching for an incomprehensible difference. I compel them. They want to harvest everything I emit. Problem is, they can never catch me. My body sinks into the flesh of the earth and follows the patterns of her roots when I lie down at night. I’m fragile. I walk so slowly. A vicious fairy surrounds me. She just so happens to adore me. I told her a story. She couldn’t resist. If I remember you intensely, it goes like this. Once upon a time, I began. Then I decided to quite. I’d rather tell it like a kid. No kid believes in fairytales. Innocence dies before it’s born. All the kids left alive here are violent and sad all of the time. They know they’ve been fed another’s vomit since they pried open their baby eyes. They know the fairies here are made of dark magic. The kids know to stay away. I don’t know what’s good for me, or I’d do the same. Actually, I’m lying already. I know exactly what builds the greatest strength, purity. I nourish it the best I can. But I have no desire to play in the world of duel conceptions. What is right is what is wrong. Nothing is dangerous. Death is beautiful. Not a single color exists until I sound it out loud. I know that I must create my own language. Not a single soul will ever know how to speak the way I see. I can’t have their nasty picture reflecting from my ability to create and heal. My fairy is a spiteful, vicious, sadistic brat; and she is my whole word. She is the one: my love has chosen. Her nourishment destroys me. Without this destruction, I am too well off to feel anything. Pain is necessary if living is your objective. I will not die! Not again. I will lay my tiny naked body at her feet, stretch my ribcage and let her reach in. I will fight everything that doesn’t fit perfectly with my natural childlike intuition. But I will never again put up a defense to my love. Everything I am belongs to her.
“Juniper! For heavens sake! Will you hurry up! My mum could come in at any minute. You swore you could do this. You told me you’d be quiet. I can’t hear anything over the sound of your voice. Moaning! Mum will suspect something for sure. She’ll know I am so curious. She’ll know my hands are craving your pale hipbones and the stupid whinny sound you make when you can’t take anymore of my teasing. Get your ass in here!” I’ve climbed her roof without an ounce of grace. I did tell her I could do it effortlessly. I must admit I lie to her often. She wouldn’t believe a word I say if I didn’t. I went so far as to promise I could fly. “It would hardly be climbing at all. And yes, of course, quiet as a church mouse baby, I wont make a sound.” It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I started by blasting her favorite song from the green below to let her know I’d arrived. After being promptly scolded in a screaming whisper, I smiled maliciously and started my accent to her gorgeous thighs. I knocked down two wind chimes, lost in a daydream of her waiting. I fell, over a dozen times, just trying to get a grip on the rooftop. I ripped off three tiles in my first attempt at pulling the weight of my little frame towards her adoration. I couldn’t see anything. Her grace was hiding behind decades of fear and shame. Her love had forgotten my face. Her fingers had forgotten what I tasted like. Her mouth had forgotten to scream when I lost my grip and slipped, again. All she could hear was the sound of her mum’s approaching disapproval. All she could see was my mouth screaming. I had finally made it on the top. It was raining now. I was staring into her window with my tongue out. I was dancing. I saw her crying. That’s when I decided to take my clothes off, piece by tiny piece. I chose to bear the weight of all her shame. I chose to carry no fear. I chose her. She shut the window, but kept her face glued to the glass. She never stopped crying. “I’ll wait. I don’t care. It’s you. I chose you.” I am too hopeless to care: too scared to cry. I show no emotion. It’s dark now. I keep dancing. I’ve always been especially fond of the dark. “I thought you were fearless.” She writes on the glass, her hot breath playing the role of ink. “I am almost always lying, my love. Besides, it is your fear that’s stealing my ability to cry. You’re allowed. I gave you permission to use me as you liked. You can do whatever you want!” She approves of the ultimate authority I’ve bestowed on her. She gives herself permission to forgive me and grants me access to her presence once again. This is a game that we play. It isn’t the first time I’ve been locked out. And it sure wont be the last! I look forward to the space she forces between us. She knows how we must grow. I know too, I just don’t care. I always want her hands on my skin. Nothing else in this dream means anything to me. I am useless. All I can do is dance and beg to be held.
She opens the window and I crawl in. I’m soaking wet.
“Wait!” She screams suddenly. “Take off your coat and boats. We must keep this place spotlessly clean. It must be like you were never here. I start spinning in circles. I throw my head back and stick out my tongue like I can still taste the rain falling from inside her tiny room. I peak at her from the corner of my eye. She’s furious, as always; but simultaneously she can’t look away. I’m intoxicating. I’m splashing in puddles I’ve created with my present state of mind. I make a mess of everything. I shatter her reality. I stomp and spin and bounce and scream until every inch of her freshly mopped floor is covered with the mud caked on the soles of my boots. It’s coming off in clumps. I’m crushing these black creations into the sand of the earth. I stop dancing and step up to her flushed face. She’s still fuming. She’s not angry. Tears are running down her puffy cheeks. She can’t speak. She can’t breath. She tries, but the air that I am gets stuck in the back of her throat and she chokes delicately. Almost under her breath, “don’t baby. Please don’t look at me.” I touch the tip of my nose to the reflection of hers and close my eyes. “I wont open them until you tell me too. If I have to wait eternity, I will. I have all the time in the world.”
“I don’t have any time left.” But her body isn’t listening to the words coming out of her memory of language anymore, there moving against what feels like her own free will. But the freedom of her flesh got stuck in translation somewhere along the line, in the center of her gut. Someone started feeding her poison. She remembers her own hands. She looks at my lips. I part them, but I anticipate nothing; I have no idea what she’ll do next. I gave her my sight. I needed her to see everything. I didn’t care to know. I knew everything in having no desire to explain anything ever again. Her fingers begin climbing up my frame without touching my skin. She began by creating her own language with every surface of her living body over every thought. This form of speech didn’t need a designated alphabetical organization; she preferred to create characters. Some of them existed, some of them jumped from dream to dream, some of them she could never touch; thankfully I wasn’t one of these, because I needed her touch more than anything in the whole entire world. I couldn’t tell her these things. She let me know she was still standing in front of my body: she started singing. Her thumbs began to remember my pale hipbones dipping into the most sensitive parts of me. Her eyes closed around a picture, my naked spine arched, my pale tummy reaching toward the sound of her voice. “I want you. I always will.” This is my cue. I’m trying to open my eyes, but I can’t stop crying. I don’t want to cry with my eyes open! I want to strip naked and role around on the floor. I want to tuck my knees into my chest. But I can’t move. She pulls back in fear, opens her eyes wide as she spins around to lose sight of me, and hops onto her bed. “Read to me!” She yells in delight, with no memory of my crying like a baby. With a clean slate, I shave my head and change my name and began a story I’ve never heard before. “Once upon a time,” I demand. She doesn’t recognize me. I can say anything I want. I say “hi” for very first time. It is only the first because I said. It is only “hi” because hello felt like choking. And I truly have nothing left to say. While she was busy reconstructing language and abiding by time, I was letting every word slip away. I don’t want to say anymore. I give her my voice and begin. Prepare yourself baby, I’m on my way.
“Once upon a time. Hi. Come now Jade, that’s hardly a story beginning! Where is the sense of anticipation that is supposed to be rattling my soul through the cells of my golden skin? Don’t you know who I am, story boy! I am your love! Forget the monotony of building a scene. Forget the book. Just take off your clothes and dance.” I ignore her demands and continue my plea. “The boy was soaking wet. He was standing in the middle of her room. She was furious! She was throwing a tantrum on her grandmother’s quilt. She wasn’t familiar with being disobeyed. She was waiting for him to change his mind. But, you see, this boy was disobedient by nature. His ways of observing were violent in the form of surrender. It was torturous the way he bent down on both knees. He worshiped her. But he could never do anything he didn’t want to do. This was the spell she had him under, her form of adoration. He was amused with magic, but very easily distracted. When she demanded that he dance, he only smiled sadistically, as he read back her own attempts to silence him.
‘I cannot stop writing you, my love. When I stop, you begin to scream through every nerve in my physical being. You contort my muscles into spasm. You lay me still all day. You let the night electrocute me. You watch me shake and scream on the floor without even stirring. You wait. When I finally find the strength to climb onto your bed to embrace you, you are already asleep. I know you are dreaming of me. But when is that ever enough for you?’
‘Always. Don’t be silly kid. Dreams are not leaving. They’re indefinite. They are expanding, if you let them. They are encroaching, if you dare them. They are inescapable, if you will them. And if you speak them aloud and let your body move on this thunderous sound, they are everything. You lie awake and watch me sleep and scream and cry and beg me to wake up, for what? Touch? Taste? Have you not felt me in the back of your throat? Were you dreaming? Was I water? Was it nourishing? Was there ever fear of running out? These questions were never intended to demand answers. But you should know a very powerful secret I’ve recently spoke aloud. When I am dreaming, I live. When I am sleeping, you are weeping by my side. But it is not in vain! You are not shaking with frustration. You are not trying to save. You are trembling because you are against my skin. You are crying because I am by your side, and you know you can never lose me again.’ The boy is dancing.”
“Hurry up! We’re dreaming.”
“You can’t rush me Juniper. I must pace myself with this. Stop interrupting me, or this is where the story ends.” I strip down to my boxers and sit by her head. She’s propped it up in the palms of both hands. Staring up at me. Baby eyes beating to the rhythm of the sea, begging. Breathless. I whine. I catch myself and let my hand fall to the base of her spine. She smiles. “If I can’t scream, than you can’t touch. Still convinced we’re not dreaming?” She rolls onto her back lets her neck hang from the side of the bed. “Would you catch me if I fell? No rush, but I’m feeling faint.” I let the blood rush to a single thought. “The boy stops dancing. He falls to the floor and starts convulsing. The girl does nothing to save him. She falls asleep waiting. The boy never wakes up again.”