Egad.

And maybe that’s how it works. Bit by bit. Settling in and cutting deep—but blunt so you think its just a tiny dent, a groove, harmless. And there it sits. And there it cuts. Barely noticeable, for now.

And you hum and you sing and you go about with your daily grin, and that’s that.

Until it’s late at night and you’ve been alone for too long. Thought it all out for too long, but still you hum, and still you sing and still there it is, your daily grin. Strained maybe, but practised long enough to not remain that way for long. And you wonder how no one else sees it; how they don’t notice it cutting in deeper and deeper in you, hollowing you out. It’s obvious to you; can’t they see it in the eyes? In the daily grin, strained and perfect for too long? In the drastic, rapid oscillations between the too-good-to-be-true bubbly to the quiet, smiling still?

And always the hum, and always the dull throb of it digging deeper, scooping out another part of you and flinging it to the wind and settling in inside the new, shiny hollow. And always, that daily grin.

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I Am, Really.

Dear Peter,

You didn’t have to fear and hate it so much. You learn to live with it, you know. Not in a elephant in the room but I’m just going to focus on my bunny kind of way, but more like a television turned down in the background sort of way. It stops bothering you and you move on, sort of—it doesn’t go away, no, but you live with it and even stop thinking about it so much. Staying wouldn’t have been all that bad for you.

The boys came back last week. Guess, they aren’t Lost anymore…I know it’s a good thing but I can’t help but feel sorry for them at the same time—don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic that they’re back–they have so much awaiting them! But it’s going to hit them hard in the beginning though. They’re good little boys and it’s a pity they’re destined to not. Not. Not…what? I forget. Just not. It’s a terrible thing, old age. Where was I? Oh yes: You never saw it. But I think at that island they finally did themselves. I’m glad.

And I suppose it would be too much to hope that them coming back means you are too…

It’s not so bad here Pete. I barely even notice anymore really. I tried to visit you at the Island, but fairy dust doesn’t work for me nowadays…but I’m no longer bothered by it. It’s a distant hum.

Does the beach still glow? The mermaids haven’t been up to much mischief lately, have they?  I wonder why you never wrote back…I waited for your letter, you know—or for you to talk to me in daylight sometime. Ten years. I haven’t been able to stay awake late enough to see your shadow these days—or perhaps it’s stopped visiting altogether? I hope not.

There are times when the hum isn’t as distant as I would like it to be—but I’ve stopped throwing tantrums. I like to think I handle the noise in a more dignified manner now. No one even notices. That’s the thing about permanent fixtures: no one ever notices. It’s mostly a good thing. But it’s also sad sometimes.

Fairy dust doesn’t work for me anymore. Been a while since I’ve had the world literally at my feet. The castles turned out to be ones in the air and the monsters are just that. Monsters. We were supposed to fight our way to glory, remember? Instead you–foolish, perfect little boy you–left me fighting reason.

The wind still rushes through my hair sometimes though and it’s good. Things are good.

Father called for you when he died—isn’t that funny? He wanted to see Corn pop one last time…how long ago was it that he last called you that? He called for you and I had to tell him you weren’t there. Georgie didn’t come to the funeral.

Georgie’s all grown up now. He has two kids. Perfect little brats if you ask me—nothing like how we used to be. But they like my stories, yeah I still have my stories. They love them, all the kids do. They dream of castles and dragons and fairy dust. I’m scared for them sometimes but I don’t want to rob them of it either.

You never got to see what we would become. And neither did I.

Fairy dust and moonlight and off you flew. As once I did long before you…

Give Hook my love.

Love,

X

PS: I really am happy. I know this didn’t make it seem like it, but I am. It’s hard to explain, and I don’t think I understand myself, but I am happy.

Yours Truly,

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Believing In The Right Things

Dear Peter,

You were perfect. The golden-curled golden boy with promises grand and seemingly impossible. I followed your shadow, like the centuries old light chasing the star as it streaks across the sky, pure and trusting, if somewhat lacking. Fairy dust and moonlight, and oh the stories! The wind in your hair, the breeze cradling you as you flew, flew higher and further, flew to where I too once belonged.

You believed. With all your heart you believed; believed in me and believed in you and believed in what we could be one day; believed in all the castles and dragons we would conquer and all the glory and honor. And you flew. Higher and further.

Fairy dust floated down when you shook your hair, and there was always some in your ear—they could never scrub you hard enough to get it out completely; no amount of soap and bubbles would wash the magic out. The boys looked up to you—oh how they worshipped you; sweet, bumbling, poor little lost things wanting so much to be what you were…but Lost you called them and lost little boys they were. You didn’t see it; in all your perfection you didn’t see what they weren’t. Didn’t see how they were too young to know it and far too naive, too busy bustling about in the paradise you perfected for them. You were kind and funny—they loved you! We all did Pete. But once the moon peeked out, you flew.

I used to ride the wind with you, all it took was slight Tinkering now and then, and we’d soar above the clouds and dip down again to gaze down upon the city lights. The world laid at our feet and we were both so, so young! But you loved it too much—or thought of going back down with more hatred than should have had place in your tiny, happy heart—I saw it. I saw it the first time I took you along with me and heard you laugh, I saw it and should have stopped—that laugh wasn’t yours, it wasn’t, it was happy and carefree but it wasn’t yours; but before I knew it, I was chasing your shadow. But only because it was the only part of you not volitant in the darkness. Isn’t that funny? That while you glided in the star-strewn dark, your shadow pranced about in the candlelight and no matter how tightly you sewed it on, even that creature of darkness needed an escape from the hollow nights. You loved it too much. I should have put an end to it.

But all it takes is once. And so you flew. Higher and further. Until one day you found a piece of land; glowing with the haloed light of the stardust on its beach. You came back and told me you’d found home. You laughed and it was you again, and I thought you’d come back finally. That maybe you did really find home and realized it was right where we stood. After months and months of you flying into the night, I was finally seeing you and your lovely face with its lovely smile. You asked me for stories, like you once used to long before you flew out to make your own. We stayed up that night, and for once, I wasn’t worrying and you were home.

Fairy dust and moonlight and the next night you were off again. The boys followed you—they would’ve followed you to end of the world and walked right off the edge if you’d let them; but only you and Georgie returned and how he glowed! The boys weren’t coming back. You went every night and came back with stories of pirates and treasure hunts that you and the boys went on. You laughed and asked me to come along. I did. It was beautiful, the island. It was your paradise and the boys were happy. Morning came and I asked you to take me back. You told me you were staying.

Told me you were dying in that world and that you didn’t belong there anymore, were Never coming back—told me I didn’t belong there, not with all my stories and fairy dust. But I did and I came back and never flew again.

I never saw the boys after that one night at the island spent pestering the pirate. But every once in a while, if I stayed up long enough, I would see your shadow, opening and closing the drawers of our room, touching my muddy shoes and the soft sheets, dancing in the candlelight. If I stayed awake long enough, I would see your shadow home. And when you flew in to take that rebellious part of you back and softly crept up to my bed and peered at my face, I would shut my eyes tight. Pretend to not see you and turn around to fight the tear that threatened to fall every time you kissed me goodbye.

petes

Love

P.S  I’m sorry you never got to see what we would become, never got to see the dragons and adventures that came long after.

pete

Yours Truly,

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