love letters

Posted on October 15, 2009


“once upon a time, there were two people in deep and serious love with one another and with everything that they hoped they would be.”

i lit a cigarette and sat down to type. but suddenly i couldn’t remember what the keyboard meant. i looked at those small black squares with white symbols on them and they seemed to tell a tale which i could not decipher. i began to teach myself story again.

there was a “w” for “wild“, followed by “e” for “eros“. then, in quick succession “r,t,z,u“, or “rutz“, which clearly indicated sexual stuff gone from awesome to awry. this i found discouraging, and i looked for different messages further down the field of letters (why so many?): “i, o, p, a” for “opia“, which had to mark the entrance of drugs – quite possibly, the lovers turned to drugs to fix whatever had gone wrong between them. i got quickly bored with this game and i worried: what if i could never unlock the secret of letters? was i condemned to have to hire a long-legged secretary (short and stumpy would not do) to take my dictation?

days passed, bed and breakfast blurred into one big burden. i smoked, inhaling longer and longer until i could hold my breath for an entire day. no gods no muses came to my rescue. letters remained locked in a chest which might contain a treasure – or treachery. perhaps the story of love that i had started with was my destiny. so i tried to finish it:

“once upon a time, there were two people in deep and serious love with one another and with everything that they hoped they would be. they spent their days in a haze, waiting for the moment to get to bed, extinguish their cigarettes and look into each other’s eyes searching for that spark that had brought them together in the first place. the man was a writer, the woman was a painter. their foreplay was a mixture of both their talents: he wrote secret stories on her naked body. she sketched her desire on his. when they looked at themselves to admire each other’s work, they met every time as if for the first time, forgot about words and colours, merged their talents in a single movement. miraculously, the movement turned into a bird.

the bird flew up to the ceiling and out of the open window into the world. it settled on a birch next to their house and admired god’s creation. all the beasts noticed its arrival and paid attention. even the lion, their king, looked up from a gazelle who had given itself up to be devoured.

what do you think you’re doing, said the gazelle. i sacrifice myself like an idiot and you don’t even pay attention? – so sorry for that, said the lion – i’ll be eating you in no time, if you just let me satisfy my curiosity. – as you say, my liege, said the gazelle, and ate a grape while waiting for her hour of death. meanwhile, the lion walked over to the bird who had just discovered the power of chant and was singing a song just for fun. the song began: if i was an angel of dust …

that doesn’t make any sense, said the lion, you’re annoying and i don’t even think you’re a real bird. i know my subjects.

the bird didn’t mind. it was made of pure love.  it didn’t care about the animal kingdom, about its unwritten rules (nobody had bothered writing them down)…

in the meantime, the lovers had finished their lovemaking. the bed had gone still and they were breathing noisily and happily. in and out. as they both entered the realm of dreams, the bird dissolved, smiling at the king of the animals. the lion was confused and disturbed. he did not feel like returning to the gazelle in waiting. he did not feel like torturing his wives. he did not feel like playing with his offspring, or running after game, or bathing in the sun and glory of his natural title. the bird seemed to signify the arrival of a new way of thinking that broke the roundelay of eat and be eaten.

in the end, however, after a long period of deliberation, which he carried out as good as any predator, his stomach began to hurt and he went back to his meal.”

© 2009 finnegan flawnt – written under a milk wood tree