Location: Tucson, AZ, United States
I would rather have been that poor peasant with you as my loving wife by my side, knitting as the day died out of the sky, with our children upon my knees and their arms about me. I would rather have been that man and gone down to the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust, than to have been a richer man and to have never known your sweet love.
A woman believes she cannot go forward, whereas a man believes he can always go back; and should they meet again—it’s never in the same place as where they once were.
I dreamt of you again last night. You were close enough to touch at last, and just as I reached for you, you disappeared. Dreams often imitate reality. I remember your hands first and above all else. Delicate, feminine hands with slender fingers and white, curved nails. Pretty hands, like angels should be. No hands are just like yours. You are such a treasure, a girl with fire on her lips and peaches on her skin. Pools of desire melted in your eyes, and I drowned in them more than once. I have yet to see my girl in reality, only in dreams. Where are you, mahal?
How long does innocence last? Why are we only aware of it when it has already abandoned us completely? The days of innocence (and lemonade) still linger on my tongue. This must be the aftertaste of youth. I believed in love and laughter, in moonlit nights and romantic notions; in Heaven, Hell and the Earth in between. I believed I would never be forgotten. Do I seem so very far away? Perhaps I do. You retrace my footsteps every day, breathe the same air that I once breathed, sleep under the same stars that I once slept under. Do you know that your blood flows through my heart, your spirit through my soul? I miss you as much as I love you.
Yes, I have been so very sentimental lately―almost melancholy, missing everyone as I reminisce.
I have my father’s eyes, those steely orbs that pierce the flesh of anyone they look upon. Momma once said that someday they’d be good for stealing hearts. She lied.
Wrought iron and white wicker adorned the porches. Yellow roses grew around the veranda. The front yard extended for miles and miles, or so it seemed. Perhaps I was just viewing my world with a child’s eyes. Nobody lives at Momma’s place now; the roses have been gone for years. I have spoken of lost innocence, and looking back I wonder if I ever had it to begin with. Children playing, oblivious of the world surrounding them. Laughing, hardly a care in the world but for the moment. The only time I ever witness that in adults now is when they first fall in love, then that too is soon lost. Sad, really. Innocence and love―why is it they seem to go hand in hand? Darling, please, never let go of my hand.
Nothing is ever as it may first seem. Do you realize that your name was the first gift you were ever given? Gifts are often disguised, remember. The most beautiful gift often comes in the plainest package.
Wisdom has a price, you know. It leaves scars upon your heart and memory. It devours the lilies and scatters blackened petals of knowledge in their place. I cannot give you wisdom in a box. All I can offer is words and memoirs. They are, after all, my own blackened petals.
I kept a journal of my life; there are more than 40 years recorded between leather-bound, tattered pages. I am a novel all by myself. I hope those who come after me can decipher the old ink enough to read it. My very soul is between those pages. I remember the fallen trees—a memory left by the Autumn hurricane, the Winter that came buried the remains, the Spring brought sweet innocent rains, the Summer that saw my youth. So many Winters. So few to go. I have an old soul.
The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender because this kiss already has within it—that surrender.
My family used to wonder why I was always such a loner as a boy, but the fact is—I was never alone. There were dragons to slay, fair maidens to be saved and quests of adventure to seek out far and wide.
There still are.