“…How does one who has shared your air
Breathe again without you there?
And this is how I waste my ways
Breath seized, for fear of losing
What I will never know….”
These sheets are like quicksand sometimes. A comfortable trap. Get out of bed Cressida, she sleepily commanded herself. I sure like to call out my own name a lot, she thought, beginning to analyze what’s behind that odd habit. Our own name to our ears is beautiful and personal and intimate, Cressida remembered learning long ago. It is music. A symphony to be specific. Like his name. Victor. I’ve said it my head how many times? Not knowing why. “And not on purpose,” she lied aloud to herself. A typical name, but it reminds me of one who is up on high – which would explain the atypical light in his eyes, she reflected, thinking again of that day when she introduced herself. It seemed then as if he is someone who sees things others do not see. Or, would see if they took the time, Cressida sarcastically judged.
There’s something about him that I want to unlock but not solve. What is it? Would it help him to hear his name spoken to him by someone who wants nothing from him in return? I wish to speak it while in song. To put his name to music. So visualizing Victor, Cressida sang in her head, “I know that you don’t need me to, but Victor let me sing to you. In black and white and from on high. I don’t know the distance I’ve yet to travel, or if I’m made to get there. Though we are easy. Would you yet hear me….” “He doesn’t know I exist,” she whispers, her thoughts and song trailing off. Being damaged and all, Cressida understood it meant that she’s not really allowed to think about his light-filled eyes anyway.
Oh, go look for the Sun, something said to her. It’s almost sunrise and she’s been in love with the sunrise. Getting out of bed and falling to her window, something – someone – caught her eye. Two someones, a distance away. She watched them hold hands and walk slow, not in step, but better. Covered in the morning’s pink amber light, they were shadowless, since the sun had yet to breach the horizon. Her heart dropped at first, but, determined that ‘Happy for those who are happy’ be her mantra with these things, she decided instead to be struck by these strangers’ solace. It was poetic. Seeing the simple act of two lovers holding hands suddenly reminded her that she needs to start holding her own hand, or even better, not need to hold any hand at all. In fact, Cressida continued, I have to begin to look life in the eye again if I hope for it to hold me. And to put down the gloves if I want life to love me. Put down the gloves.
Gloves. There was never solace, just the silent fight to survive. Which, looking back, is poetic in its own way. There was the absence of seeing and the presence of fear, she thinks now. She never tries to, but too often these days, she cannot help but remember eyes full of glare. Lacking acceptance. It’s then that Cressida clung to what she knew to be the absolute truth: We are nothing but valuable in God’s eyes. “Why,” she asked herself and these hand-holders, unable to comprehend that some people cannot treasure those who they claim to love. And why, she also demanded from the air in her room, did she allow the truth of her value to be wiped out with lies? What smart woman listens to lies, knowing they’re lies, and then accepts them as fact, she accused herself with shocked disbelief, her thoughts spiraling downward now. Why all those years, was everyone else, including strangers and children, the only ones who ever complimented her, told her she’s special, cheered her efforts or reached out for her hand?
This is all too much, too early in the day. And, regardless – she thought, checking herself – do I want to live the rest of my life asking “Why?” This is now, she knew, and instead contemplated, “what legacy will I choose for myself: peace or fear?” Purposely redirecting her thoughts, she innocently contemplated how there should be more hand-holding in this world after all.