“All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.”
I start with the old lie – well worn through years of misuse but still willing to return for one more performance. Because it’s you. It’s always you. How shall I summon you today? With a poem, a story, a song? With each word I try to find you, forming and then caressing your soft skin, running my fingers through your hair, trying desperately to breathe the very essence of life into you and hoping beyond hope that I will find that one missing magic word that will allow you to truly live and to be here beside me. Alakazam?
It’s never enough. My words can never hope to fully encapsulate everything that makes you so special to me – to truly do you justice. Especially when to a large extent I only have foggy memories to work with as my inspiration. I used to berate myself for falling so short of perfection but I have come to learn that the next act in my magic show would render such perfection a waste anyway. Are you ready for my next trick? When I’ve finally managed pour enough love into my words to conjure you, necessity dictates that I must then obscure you. That the audience mustn’t know who you truly are.
So, how shall I masquerade you today, my love? Poof! I’ll change your gender. Poof! I’ll change your race. Poof! I’ll transform love into hate and tell the world how much I burn with hatred for you – how I despise you and couldn’t bear to have you beside me right now, that I’m pleased you’re so far away and overjoyed that it has been so many years since I have last seen your face. Will that do the trick, my love? Will that be enough of a disguise for you today?
Some days I tire of this charade. I long to shout your name out for all to hear or to write it clear in bright, shining letters ten storeys high for all to see and then to tell the world what you truly mean to me but neither you nor I are ready yet for such a grand revelation. The show must go on after all and who knows what would happen if too much honesty was poured into the magic potion in one go?
I pull card after card from the pack, hoping beyond hope that on one of them I will find the answer that will bring you back to me or allow me to come to you without bringing the walls crashing down upon us but no joy. Finally I can take no more and after every card has been flung to the floor, discarded violently, you are lost to me once more. Just like magic – you are gone.
Copyright © 2015 Philip Craddock. All rights reserved.