It hadn’t succeeded, my quest as yet. I sought out my love, my life, from where she had hidden herself, seemingly not wanting to be found…
I chose my most faithful hound to aid me in my search, but he just scratched behind his ear, and sniffed the ground, not wanting to get involved all the same. Man’s Best Friend, they call you, which made him light up almost as much as the sound of dog food hitting the metal bowl, “Set me Free!” “Set me Free!” he seemed to say to his growling stomach. “Get your own girl, he said to me, which I was trying to do, you know?
I thought if trying the limits of my imagination to see if she was hiding in there, but if she stood beside me right now, she’d say, “so far would I not travel, and besides you don’t have the imagination to stomach a journey like that!”
I begged to disagree. I did have an imagination, which called out to me time and again. “All aboard for the Fantasy Express!” Tickets please….Tickets….
I didn’t seem to have the ready cash for the journey, having searched the many pockets of my waistcoat. You’d think that someone had forgotten a Bob or two, for just such an occasion as this one, but No, the loose change had fallen behind the seat, or had rolled down the nearby Manhole. I felt that she might be correct in judging the limits of my imagination, by not being able to catch a simple train of thought, without having a penny to my name.
She seemed to whisper to me, in rather loudish tones, motioning me over toward the train, which had released its steam in anticipation of the imminent journey.
“Want to go for a ride with me?”, she asked while tugging at my waistcoat, pulling at the chain of my pocket watch, and biting my ear in a lesser way that strangers would greet each other. I felt obliged to tell her that I was spoken for, and that my parents had arranged our marriage, way back when we only were children, being completely unaware of each other!
She danced around me with veils and such, which surrounded me with scents of incense and patchouli, banging her tambourine, and enticing me to bang it together with her. “Where are you going, where have you been, and where can I find you?”, I chanced to ask her, while she began to resemble rising smoke, blowing herself away. “Follow the trains”, she said.” Follow the trains….”
It wasn’t hard following the trains, just not being on them. The tracks led into the inky darkness, with just a distant clikity klak, clikity, klak to be heard, heading away from me. I trudged through the tunnels in hope of seeing her again, but was running out of both inspiration and imagination, which went hand in hand, entwined in coils around my imagination as it were. I sat down to rest and contemplate my thoughts of her, wondering why she chose this Summer to be away from me, instead sharing the things that we both loved, especially each other!
I looked at the rails, and imagined there were bread crumbs showing me the way to her. Alas it seems that the crumbs had been eaten by the train birds, who mimicked and mocked my actions, deep underneath the noisy street above. “Come over here,” they called in a voice not like, nor unlike hers, wanting my imagination to take a turn for the worse, or follow a bend in the road, leading me astray, and yet farther away from her loving arms. I feared that my imagination was not strong enough without her, and I would soon fall by the wayside! Drunk and down on my luck, I would resign myself to panhandling and begging on the streets, hoping to take one day at a time, no longer thinking nor longing for her, but hoping nonetheless to be able to drown my sorrows in a bottle of hooch, wanting only to fall into the inky depths, and drown in the quagmire at the bottom of the glass.
“Over here”, she seemed to call out to me, breaking my thoughts into smaller chunks, scattering them where they could not be assembled again, making my future self alive once again.
I wanted to ask her, why she chose this moment to test my conviction? Why did she want me to leave the comfort of our sunny Summer Room, with the lizards on the walls, imitating wallpaper, but would leave the walls to play while we were away. I used to fear the Alligators under the bed she admitted to me, while we sat in the living room, waiting for the night to fall with a crash! “They are scaly, you know, and tend to bite things off, and not return them again”. I felt that the Alligators had taken over my life, and I needed to get away.
I reached out for her, but met only the resistance of the wall. Placing my face alongside the lizards, I called out to her. “Can you hear me?” Do you trust me?”
I waited patiently for an answer as she obviously was hesitant about leaving her place of refuge. I set the usual Alligator traps and collected the loose lizard or two, and placed them as carefully as possible in their respective places on the walls.
“Come back to me” I said a bit louder this time, hoping that she hadn’t moved to another room, where the pigeons were cooing or the parrots were mocking each other..
I knew that this was the best bet for getting her back, as the bedroom was her favorite room in the house. Instinctively I knew that if I enticed her out, in a way that told her, what I really felt about her, then I wouldn’t have to remain standing her until the cows came home, or Mrs O’Leary’s cow had set the fire that burned down Chicago.
“Come out. Come out”. I spoke in terms that were lacking in whisper qualities, and which would tell her that I wasn’t afraid to profess my love for her.
“Come out and look at me”, which was another of her most favorite things, that is “Looking me in the Eyes”. “Your eyes are the windows to your soul”, she’d often say, but I felt that she had read that on the back of a box of Cereal, or perhaps her Church running shoes. Run for Jesus! Was the usual saying printed on her T-shirt, even though I knew for a fact that she only joined that group, because they served breakfast rolls with real butter on Sundays! She said that it was important to have a deity hanging around, because you never knew, when you needed a bit of Salvation to perk up your day. I argued about her views on religion, but she only replied by blowing soap bubbles out the window, waiting for the hummingbirds to pop them with their beaks.
“Come back to me, I won’t stop waiting and wanting you. I promise. I promise with all my heart, and soul”. I was in need of a bit of Salvation, and could see that her deity was indeed a handy thing to have around. I guess, we shared more than just our bed, and our thoughts of a warm Summer Day, which I unfortunately was resigned to enjoy alone, not being able to find her.
“Lizards are not Alligators”, said a voice behind me. Not turning around, but answering all the same, I said, “No. No they are not! “Which made me think of someone holding their hands over my eyes, and daring me to guess who it was.
“Should it be Go Fish or is there something else”, I needed to say,” before you admit to being you?” I said to the unknown person, who was excellent in her ability to resemble our wallpaper in a chameleon sort of way. “You guessed it”, she said. “You guessed, who I was, said while dropping her hands, and turning me around to face her once again.”
“I couldn’t imagine a better place to be than here with you!” Said while looking into her eyes, sparkling like Club Soda on a Summer Afternoon.
“I know that to be true”, she said twirling her hair in that way that she did so well.” Your imagination is lacking a bit, but that is why we complement each other so well!”
“Ye”s, I said as we collapsed upon our bed, like a house of cards with a sudden breeze blowing through the window.
“When you are right, then……..”