of fairy tales, alone in the dark
it came rushing in, that great rare blast of happily-ever-after, so especially delicious in these long days of murky darkness that swirl and swirl around, almost without pause.
the world, downright hungry for a delicious morsel, after all the bitter banquets–wars, tsunamis, mile-wide twisters.
i had a hunch i’d not pass up the chance to swoon, to tear up, alone in the dark, connected by a lit-up box, to a place, a spectacle, so very far away.
and so, when the cat obligingly meowed at 3-something, i ripped back the covers, and tiptoed right behind. i saw the moonlight draped across my garden; i noticed out the window, candles twinkling from the wall of windows in the house next door.
i was alone, but not alone at all.
i clicked on the telly, wrapped a wide wool blanket ’round my chilly legs. i settled in, knowing just next door the house was filled with silver-haired ladies, anglophiles all, gathered in their wedding finery, sipping fizzly drinks, sinking teeth in strawberries. at 3:20 in the morning.
i waited while i watched the royal cars queue toward the abbey. i remembered back to the last time i was awake to watch westminster, the sad dark day in 1997 when they buried another princess, the mother of this handsome groom, this boy we’ve watched grow up.
oh, i know it’s all quiet sappy but isn’t it the prescription that we need to fill our lungs, trigger just a bit the heartbeat, stoke again our dreams of love and solid footing, and waltzing toward the sunset?
i’ll take it, drink it, press it up against my pajama-clad flat chest.
oh, i admit, i’ve been one for fairy tales my whole life long. always root for endings that make me misty-eyed and get my heart pumping surely, strongly, the steady percussion of promise just around the bend.
i love to watch a great romance, stoked in youth on those rare nights when i was invited in by my mostly-stoic mama to stay up late, and watch till the very end, some gauzy-filtered hollywood version of happy-ever-after.
i’d glance over, on those sweet nights, catch my mama brush away a tear as i brushed away my own. a sweet shared lump in the pit of our incurably romantic throats. it made me understand that my mama was so much more than just the one who scolded me for hiding all my peas beneath the rim of the dinner plate, or not picking up my clothes. it was the rare glimpse beyond all that, and perhaps in large measure that’s why i hold those happy-ever-endings so deeply dear.
i’ve always been insatiable in the S.A.P. department.
back when i was little, and full of dreams, i’d read myself to sleep many a night, turning pages in my fairy-tale picture books, absorbed into the pictures, writing my way into the script. imagining. imagining.
the birthing, really, of a life spent peering through a rosy lens. of keeping watch for the ruby slippers that might slide on the smudged-up cinderella, who so deserves the pumpkin carriage.
and isn’t it now a much-needed dose of cast-aside-your-cares? the cares upon us all these days are thick and deep. the worries bend our brow, stoop our shoulders, make our ankles wobble.
we have worries aplenty. nights we lay awake, playing and replaying the script of a story we wish would go away.
so what’s the harm in tiptoeing down the stairs in striped pajamas, and red-plaid robe, as the clock chimes half past three? and we are whisked away, by airwaves, to a city built by kings and queens, to gush and sigh as a fairy tale unfolds, and, because we love to unspool the storyline, stitch together broken parts, we imagine, we hope, that at last some part of the empty place inside a prince’s heart is filled, not by the ghost of his long-gone mama, but by the blushing beauty of his bride?
it was a good stiff drink of jubilation that came rushing in before the dawn. and all the more delicious because it’s one so rarely poured.
and i, among the many commoners, sipped lustily this morn. and pray for peace among us all, as we, scattered here and there and everywhere, join hearts in wishing for a passage of most contented joy.
did you take in the wedding? of what did it make you dream?? and did you not just love the dress, the lacy sleeves and most especially that demure-yet-sculpted V-neck???
p.s. and as i sat here typing, i caught the lovely couple driving away (the duke of cambridge at the wheel, for heaven’s sake) from the castle in a royal blue aston-martin, with a shiny cloud of mylar red and white and silver balloons bobbing in their trail. breathtaking, really, to see such abundance of joy and shaking off the stiff tradition that puts such distance between the royals and the masses. happy-ever-after already…