Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dear Madeline

Dear Madeline,

If I was half the person you are I would stay with you through this. But, even though it shames me to admit it, I’m just not that strong, and I’m leaving.

The sun rose over a dark land when I met you. Do you remember how nervous I was? My cheeks are glowing now thinking of it. I managed to pour water all over your summer dress. You just laughed, your twinkly tinkly laugh, and that was the exact moment I fell in love with you.

You reached into my miserable life and dragged me into a new world so vibrant and so full of energy. You were rain and I was the desert. You taught me how to laugh again, how to cry again.

And you never gave up on life and I admire you so much for that.

The past five years have been heaven for me. My only mistake was not marrying you - I thought we had more time.

I used to think that leukaemia was kids cancer; how wrong I was. The results came through this morning and you are a match. But I can’t put you through that. You deserve to be with someone well, someone you can have children and grow old with.

I love you Madeline.

I will always love you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Endless Knot

I was an artist monk but I gave it up for gentle Helena.

Love should be enough, it should be enough, but I ached for the meditation of ink on velum, ink on skin. I longed for it.

Day and night I complained to Helena, mourning my loss, bemoaning the fact that I gave it up for her. She seemed to bear it.

She seemed to bear it until one day she snapped back at me.

“Stop it Tomas.”

And the fire was burning in her. The fire was transforming the softness of her. And she became a force, a force in this world, a force that I could not contain. The fire was radiating off her and I could not contain it, I could not even meet her gaze.

“Stop it Tomas.”

She had not raised her voice but there was a hurricane behind it.

“You gave away the monastery for me and I claim you; and I claim your art.”

Then she gave me what I needed. She gave me the silky skin of her left shoulder. She bared her shoulder and I engraved the Celtic circle. She gave me back my art.

I became a tattoo artist and she was my fierce Helena; my force in this world.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Brickbend Geothermal Power Company

On the 10th of August, 1932, the residents of Brickbend awoke to find steam rising from a kilometre long fissure in the earths crust. It hadn’t been there the night before.

Three days later Carl Anderson drove his Chrysler Plymouth from a nearby city to the site of the crevice. He took one look at the all the steam and declared that he was going to build the world’s largest geothermal power plant.

When it was finished the art-deco building was long, narrow and sleek. A glass operations room protruded from the front wall and a row of five white cooling towers ran along its length.

During the day the power plant looked like a ship steaming toward new worlds but at night only the five giant cooling towers were visible. The local children called the towers ‘alien fingers’.

The town of Brickbend began using power from the plant soon after it was commissioned. This worked well for a few months but then a string of power cuts had everyone up-in-arms.

A residents meeting decided unanimously to picket the plant until the situation was resolved.

The start of the picket happened to fall on the 10th of August, 1935. That morning Carl Anderson drove past the line of protestors and into the grounds of the Brickbend Geothermal Power Company. He got out of his new Chrysler Streamline and made his way up to the control centre. From the ground the crowd could see his hands moving rapidly over a panel of knobs and levers. After a few minutes he flicked on the outside intercom and addressed those assembled below.

“Three years ago today I crash landed here in Brickbend. Fortunately for me the accident that destroyed my old ship provided access to an energy source that will launch a new and better craft.

“Good-bye and thank-you.”

And with that Carl Anderson pulled one last lever and the power plant was gone – alien fingers and all.

Friday, October 03, 2008

If You Love Someone

“I’m falling in love with you.” I mumble.

She looks disappointed and says, “I told you–”

“I know.” I interject before she can continue; before I can’t continue. “You told me that you are a creature of the air; you need to be as free as a bird. Well, I’m down here, looking longingly up at you, hoping you will teach me to fly too.”

“I told you…” She repeats and her face is sad and serious.

“I know,” I say.

Tears fill my eyes. I’m walking without the memory of starting.

My car drives me home where I sit with my head on the steering wheel; thoughts tumbling like hyperactive acrobats.

My heart is bursting and sore and a burden.

“I spoke too soon.” I whisper to myself.

Finally I get out of the vehicle and walk towards my small apartment.

And there she is, standing by my front door.

“How did you get here so fast?” I ask.

“I flew.”

And then she laughs, so beautifully she laughs, and I’m crying and laughing and her arms are around my neck, her mouth tickling my ear.

“I’ll teach you to fly.”

And I pull her into my arms, trying to pull her in to my heart.

And there’s something strange about the feel of her back. And there’s a perfect white feather by her feet.