One man's obsession with a blogger on myspace turns listless acceptance into passionate revelry in the search for life.
She Who Is
I found her on the internet buried beneath blogs and on-line social gatherings, wanting her poems and stories to be read without exposing her physical existence. I found her hiding in cyber-space listing like the keel of HMS Admiral Lord Nelson having faced oceanic terror, but surviving those blasts of sea, salt, and wind that slice hand rubbed finishes from Mahogany decks. She had docked for repairs in this little port of Mont Claire, hiring a therapist to help untangle anchor weights and cut loose the ropes of psychological trauma which had left a permanent scar around her throat.
I found her, this treasure of Midwest prairie-stock temperament maintaining survival by forcing her way through sheets of icy parchment when the days warm to melt scales of frost from wild hyacinths. Her scent was delicious, inviting me to bend in awe fully aware of my surroundings and a desperate desire to inhale the essence of her Poet’s garden. I am found in my discovery of her, no longer trapped, no longer encased in melancholy which had forced me to run five miles each morning to rid myself of past regrets. I am finalized and encouraged, supported as a steel column set in concrete. Enmeshed in my daily routine, I look for new letters posted for all to read yet I know they are only for me in my dreams of the present and future. I wait in the early morning hours next to the quiet buzz of a computer fan hoping for a tidbit or morsel to fall from her banquet table and be caught below by my starving soul. I have named my on-line companion “She Who Is”, a tribute to all that I have become since she is all that I need. This vitality, this exuberant hail to “WAKE!” pulls me from bed, rips me from sleep, drives me away from meaningless chores back to my computer, fills me to where no food can fit into a stomach aching only for words from one broiled under life’s misery. She cuts away the charred exterior feeding me tiny bites of tender filet that melt on my tongue dripping succulent juices when her words are said out loud. I consume full pots of coffee in my wait. I dread the eventual entrance of my wife into this virtual shrine created to contain my celestial visions. Erasing my tracks of computer history from the view of ‘she who would be obeyed’ has become ritualistic noting how my wife of 30 years can detect the slightest hint alluding to possibility of another woman in my mind. For 30 years I have suffered belittling comments asking why I would write when “no one would read my poetry or ever care” even found upon my death. ‘She who would be obeyed’ has no depth past shopping lists or changes in restaurant menus, caring only for monthly check book balances and E-mail from our children. How then should I expect one so pitifully unawares to grasp the conflict suffocating my satisfied illusion?
My wife is not an evil woman watching for errors in minute detail only to attack and subjugate my closet-writer attempts at poetry. She simply has no more sense in understanding than did the mathematically illiterate students I taught for 30 years. One can not explain why Mr. Algebra invented equations anymore than one can understand why I need to write. To suppose any greater grasp inside this colloquial existence of monotony would cause injury damaging potential for slight conversation. Lest I be cutoff from even that one ordinary exchange, abstinence from sharing my true self has become our marital norm.
But I am challenged now…challenged to go within my ‘self’ to places where Fairy Faith abounds! “She Who Is” has embraced a call from the Earth where reverence and myth hover above Celtic traditions, the magic of a witch’s Grimore is always a prayer, and sensuality becomes loosed within a celebrated circle. I no longer ache for release in sexual frustration where the act is mechanical and so incomplete. Instead, I reach for the written words of my new dangerously poignant Queen to hear “Fairy Faith calls us to dance with June bugs tied to strings; move Ladybugs from Lavender to ride on Monarch wings.” Awe would be my climax, to wander in such exquisitely simple poetic embrace of pleasure with so noble in mind and breath the Angelic accuser of my being. She has accosted me in her writings, confronted my private fears, placed my hands within her velvet hair. Her words sweeten the taste of life upon my breath causing upheaval from my breast and pummeling into silt the clods of clay which bind my heart. She stirs me with a silver-handled spoon bringing sugar and salted butter to the rim of earthen bowls. Oh to be the fire by which she warms her feet, or an ancient secret she tells to elves that visit under half-moon nights.
I found her blogs and then I found her face with a smile that is agony to bear for this man having sat so far from hope; A smile turned up sadly with tiny creases where laughter has etched her creed for living. White hands cover rope burns in her pictures. She’ll have no one see where death and an eternity in hell could be any worse than the living she escaped. The keel of tilted head burns Indigo eyes into the vision of those who seek her embrace…a portrait captured for only me is the page from where she writes.
I have found her and I have claimed the right to investigate tunnels she has sailed battered against rocks and crushed beneath stone weights of opposition . I have covered those exact quarries inching along paths high above fiords braced by crutches made of smiles from my children. Jumping to my death rid of morbid grief, I too might have succumbed. “I understand…” I whisper to her picture, wanting, no, needing to cover her with quilted blankets made of desperate pleas for endurance. “You can find your way back….” I tell her with every verse she writes in prose. “We will find our way back to serenity and quiet grace. We will find our way back together.”
I have watched her for almost a year as she struggles with nightmares and a pending divorce now in final process. At times her blogs are tattered edges of resistance against atrocities carried out by demons in disguise. She is arrogant in her stand for simplicity. She is watchful for anger in her words, mindful of passing judgment when digressing to intimacies. She understands how painful memories only show a small view of a greater painting to be revealed in the future. She is wise in analogies and shows innocent lack of caution when voicing emotion. She is magnificent, declaring the right to rule her own Kingdom.
I have found her, the I that is truly me, and in my nakedness of self, the self that stands unashamed in fields of waving Cosmos’ bestowing accolade, I revel and proclaim my own internal magnificence. I can run five hundred miles without a need for air if she is my destination. To speak her name would be my chance at salvation from empty cargo holds waiting to capture illusive Fairy gold if her name I could call and then be answered with succulent kisses pushing past my lips. I would breathe her air to be buoyed against raging tides of animosity from ‘she who would be obeyed‘. Forever after this I will instead fill cups with pink champagne for my ‘She who IS’ who so loves that sparkling indulgence when slipping into baths hidden among bubbles reading Yeats and Browning. I would wash the morning sleep from her face after bending my arms to pull her beneath my chest. She will rescue me from madness where my screams echo like whispers through an empty shot-glass, then take me to her breast begging me to listen for the life that is within her is my song. No hardened hands will ever again touch her, ripping her dreams like pieces of pink flesh torn from delicate roasted dove. The savagery omnipresent yet invisible to those without remorse would be avenged in my love for her and none would ever again witness her tears unless of joy.
I and only I have found the “She who IS“. My desire to touch her skin can bear little more as I can read no other pages unless written by her. All my prayers float like leaves against the waves as I now write for her these songs and poetry tying them in bundles to hide under Cedar boughs where I walk 5 miles each day. I have Angel music playing when ‘she who would be obeyed’ leaves for sleep and once again I am alone with my thoughts of ‘She who IS‘.
I am not a man obsessed with pretense cut in marble where the feel of cold that warms under my hand lasts little more than moments in succession. I am a man enveloped by a presence stronger than my own where heat is exchanged when stoking this empty hearth. I am the stone upon which she will build her fire. I am the hollow where she will rest her head. I am the allegiance which runs underground to spill water for only her to drink. I am the empathy that shields her from despair. The fearless hold which carries me from indifference to pinnacle is the knowledge strewn from the hands of one wearing opulent slippers embroidered with cryptic initials of a Queen. She is secluded in an invisible wreath of magic that allows no one past her door. But I know where she lives if only for details posted of her day. I have dreamed of her walking the shores of Lake Ouachita, her hair wild about her face, her cloak threatening to leave upon the wind when storms turn sunset into shades of emerald and the gulls screech like banshees after prey.
All has come to me by way of watch and wait. I was redeemed while I stood looking between shelves of fishing line and tackle moved carefully away from hazy windows. She sat only 20 feet from the door, her back resting against a pole watching bobber swell with wakes from incoming Sunday fishermen. The sun to her face framed her hair with purple highlights where bands has loosed themselves from braids in length across her shoulder. I read her blog that told she would be going to the wharf to fish and be bringing her daughter, but there were no small children to entice with my wrapped chocolate candy kisses. What now can I do? I would buy her a coke! I will to garner my courage and speak her name. “These old hands have gathered chalk dust far too long” I thought. “Today, I will touch her.“
Yes, she was still absorbed in dangling feet over the boardwalk. I could peek through mirrored sunglasses around the cashier without moving my head though worried to say thank you for my change should my voice give away how delicate this situation at hand.
What if all could hear my breathing slow to nothing as the “She who IS” was now entering their bait shop door?
“Can I get some night crawlers? And take these (minnows)? They’ll just die in that bucket.”
Oh I must sit watching this foreign femme picture who had stood beside me smelling of sweet ginger! I slid to an adjoining room daring myself to disappear into an orange plastic chair. Dusty are my brains I feel. No words could I answer were she to say ‘hello’ to such as me.
Bells ringing from entrance and exit woke me to fact. I had drooled into my bag of spinners, this monotonous cache of fishing gear unusable as I do not own a fishing pole! Dreadful gush I am in my living for her….slobbering into paper bags.
I followed her then to not ten feet away waiting for the slightest breeze to push Sunday garbage down the walk disguising my movements forward. “Just let me stand near her once again. Let me be immersed, baptized in ginger as she tosses her line into the river.” I was gasping in prayer.
I am fainting, falling forward against the cabled banister! No…not fainting….being razed in sync with swells against the dock. And she has seen me now standing behind her, lifting her hair to my hands by levitation; Lifting her to me by power of wish-craft.
I heard her say ‘hello’ to only me!
“Any bites?” I asked, wishing “to be a mighty Coho nibbling at her slender line, baiting her to stand, forcing pole to hip, wrestling against current with muscles taught in landing stance of conquering Queen!”
She shook her head no, but told me she really just wanted to sit in the sun today.
“I will be your Sun!“ I ached to tell her. “I will be the heat that blazes cheeks to summer hue! I will be…“ but she was reeling in her line and gathering minnow bucket about to leave.
“Don’t go!” I wanted to say, “Not when I am only inches from touching little drops of dew above your perfect lips. Stay with me a moment then while I memorize this painting Rembrandt’s brush could not copy in so perfect sway of hips or glazed charm.”
“Did I run you off from your fishing?” I asked.
She smiled and licked those blushing rosebud lips to wipe the sweat I claimed for mine own.
“Here…” she said, handing me a dozen worms minus one. “I’ve been here too long already. My face is burnt” she said.
“You are so sweet” I said while reaching into my bag to retrieve the coke I bought for her. “Then you take this in exchange” I said, and she smiled again, those Indigo eyes laughing above high cheekbones in surprise at my returned generosity.
“Oh….I sure need that. Thanks!” said ‘She who IS‘.
“I feel her falling against my arms to let me drink first from the dark liquid of satiating….“ No! She is leaving and telling me good-bye and thank you once again.
Yes, I would follow her to see what car she drives and hope she would invite me along for a ride, windows half open letting the world view who has taken her heart. But she is walking away toward the bubbling concrete roads jumping over missing chunks of sidewalk as if hopping stones across a river, away from me. I can NOT follow her, pressing her to fear the one who would be her divider against commonality. I must watch her until my glasses steam her from view since I am crying, so grateful. I touched her hand in giving my simple gift of a coke, and she mine in exchange perhaps feeling my years of pencil to brow while correcting papers and dreaming of the ‘She who IS’ and her imminent arrival.
I found her on the internet safely looking for me to gather books and pink champagne, reading to her while she bathes. I will move to this dock in wait for her laying myself out as banner in triumphant repose. I will give up all for I have found her. I will placard my poems of her to every fence, every wall, every door until she follows these maps that lead her to me, to find me. ‘She who IS’ shall be mine.
*To My Beloved ‘She who IS’*
Come with me Beloved, you've more secrets yet to tell while hid beneath the cedar bough enthralled by lover's spell.
I'll quiet as your stories speak, in awe absorb anew the time we have been separate to learn the all of you.
Tell me, Beloved, what you have heard, the travels you have seen. Take me as webbed I am in thought to know where you have been.
I shivering anticipate this future left behind as tales you spin rekindle flame within your brilliant mind.
Tell me, Beloved, in earnest, is that difficult to do? To rest your head on hallowed ground and share the truth of you?
Yes, quiet I am, but in reverence because I acquiesce to make sublime this briefest dream with Love, I do confess.
Tell me, Beloved, do you take my hand when discovering secrets now as if to save a place for me within to share without?
Yes, quiet I'll be to hear you speak until the light is gone then place a candle beneath our bough and give to you My song.
July 11th, 2008
God I hate the weather here! Left a window open last night and now my room stinks like moldy towels. I’m kinda depressed I think. Mom is doing a little better, but she wont leave the house much. So, I have-to make lots of trips to the library. I don’t have-to work at the paper mill today. Wish I did just to get out of here. She wont turn the lights on much and all the candles burning really smell bad! I even stink like them now. Well, least she didn’t turn into a Jesus freak and make me go to church all the time. I would hate that. We are looking for a different place to move again. Mom said she needs a “fairy garden” and then she’ll go outside. Geesh, Cory! That is just too weird for me! Making a garden for fairies to live in!! I think her air got cut off too long, but her Doc says mom’s doing good. She’s taking her pills and don’t sit around cryin all day no more. She got some bad scars from the rope burn too. They stick out like elastic on old underwear. Makes me want to puke sometimes. I can’t stand it that she tired to kill herself.
Have you heard anything from dad? Not me. He still wont talk to me cause I moved with mom up here. How come people have to be so dumb! They’re like little kids fighting over stupid toys! I think he’s more mad that we took his computer! I made a myspace page on the net so she could do her poetry stuff. My friends thought I went nuts. Told me I was getting high too much until I said it was mom making all that stuff up and not me. Tried reading her blogs once. I don’t get it. Do you? That Fairy Faith thing, yeah. Better than being a Jesus freak is for sure.
I’m gonna go for now. Have to take a shower and get our laundry done. I burnt my skin real bad yesterday and now I’m freezing cold. Mom wouldn’t go fishing so I did it alone. Some guy gave me a coke when I left. That was nice.
Talk to you later, Cory. Tell dad I said hi….K? I miss you lots!
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|Reviewed by Muhammad Al Mahdi
|She Who Is captures the depth psychology of the Internet culture. Intriguing with its labyrinths of thought and longing, reflected in the layers of its language, from Shakespearean splendour to the anti-climax of the "vulgar vernacular" by which it so successfully contrasted, like the spade of an archaeologist, or a grave robber, whose desecration gives the soil its true dimension.|
|Reviewed by Amor Sabor
|Excellence lives on.|