If you were my woman, Gustav said, I would kiss you all over.
But first I would court you, of course.
I would take you to dinner in the meadow.
But I would first hold your hand, of course.
I would lavish you with gifts, pink colored, sweet scented, and rosy looking.
But I would first ask you if you aren’t allergic to flowers of course.
And then you would know what it’s like to be loved as a sheep must be loved.
Before I dive into you, and lavish in your presence, dripping with drops of possibilities..
before I do that.., I want to thank you for the abundance of existence you display, for the fact that you exist because I exist, and that you are the concept and the shadow folded into one, and I want to thank you for growing bigger with every step I give you the freedom to just be without asking me to put more energy in than you give back.
A marvelous multification of majestic simplicity. How you come to life if I leave you uncaptured, to set you free is to make you come to me, oh how you turn my world downside up. How some thing can be great in al its littleness. You exist because I exist. I feed off of you. I would almost bow.
Did you enjoy it when I molded you into this Barbapapa wet clay cup, brown if I would want it that way, and filled you with words, describing the longing to sit next to a certain someone who is not a fantasy, but who sits elsewhere at the moment I made you?
Was it at that time that you saw it happen that everything described in my head was transposed to reality because the only thing I did was use real threads, I only held them together in my thoughts.
No Strings attached.
Did you continue to exist even after I went on to using you for more internal smiles? Did you eat the distance between me and this other? Did you make a time difference of no difference at all? Did you make miles into a straight line from here to there, folding us together?
You must have saved thousands of lives and you will save millions more. You are the best gift at birth.
Tenderly I look how you seem to walk seamlessly with children, you come so naturally to them, it’s as if they speak your language miles before they can even walk, or can speak. They wear you not like a skirt, but like clothing of human skin. Or do you wear them? Who is who in a child? You fit so perfectly, and personally and yet you are recognizable to anyone.
You don’t deserve the cruelty you face when people grow older. The prosecution, the denial, the shame, the therapy even. It’s bitter, utterly bitter to see people want to get you back in their lives and choose the exact opposite paths for that, for they think you come in drugs. But you die in drugs.
What they chase is not even the shade of a memory of what you are said to be. The only thing they should do is hold their hand, Palm down, hands open, and receive. Don’t squeeze, don’t hold, just receive.
I am so glad you are still with me. I know you don’t like technology and chaos. I know you thrive in silence and inner-life-moderation. I know you like to be discovered, I know you like to be surprised, even though it is you surprising me.
Today will be about you, I invite and ask you.. dear fantasy.. please spend the day with me.
Chore 1. Face the consequences.
So this is it. The proof of the pudding. Even when you don’t eat. Or like pudding. So Sheebo went on this trip. The destination did not matter all that much, nor the trip itself, for this story is about a book only. And of course it is never about one-thing-only, you can just trick your mind into thinking that way.
So. A book. A gift. A chore. A test. It came to Sheebo on the Airport. At first glance it was just a book. But something never is ‘just something’. Sometimes -or actually everytimes- you wonder what would have happened to everything in your life if you hadn’t looked to the right, right that second. If he had looked straight ahead, to look for signs indicating Gate D, he wouldn’t have seen the bookstore, nor the book.
Sheebo likes to read. He reads all kinds of stuff. He reads black letters printed on white paper. He reads when sitting in the sun. He reads while tasting vanilla curd. He reads about sheep preferably. With the blinds closed preferably. And he likes to read together with us. With Potamotrygorgeous preferably. So now we were faced with this book we picked up at the Airport. Everything about it seemed just right. The cover. It had the picture of a sheep. The author. It said Jésus. The title. It was called The Flight.
Although our flock is sheep, they don’t follow a herd ‘just because’. The words on the back of the book did not influence the decision to buy the book. One look at the sheepy cover was enough. It was only on the plane that we read the back cover. It was almost as if golden shade introduced the reviews and we glanced over words like exceptional debut, masterly written, rich in prose and hyper realism, mythical, worlds’ best literature, a slashing emotional ‘tour de force‘.. Did we get the jackpot here, find the holy grail, or was it ‘just a book’?
Sheebo was not impressed, though. Sheebo is not impressed with words. Because words are just that. You can say you will do something. But if you don’t do it, what is the meaning of the words? And who are you with your words then, because if you die, your mouth is shut and nobody will ever hear the words again, and you fade. But if you have put your ‘will do’ into action, then that will gets noticed. And it will be preserved somehow.
Same goes for love. Love is born in action, not written down only in ink, or uttered from a tongue. Funny thing is that hate somehow does not need behavior to prove its existence or to be really felt, but that is beside the book, the story and the point.
The book then. Sheebo is all for character development. Everybody -except for Jesus of course- comes from a seed. The thing is, do you want to grow into something you are meant to be, or do you want to be hidden dead in the ground? Sheebo knew he wanted to grow, sprout, develop. And he put that into action too. So he picked up this book to read, he was sure there would be something in the book that was necessary for him to learn, because three clues are hard to miss. Sheep. Flight. Jésus.
Read it to me, Potamotrygorgeous, he asked. We know this because his intonation went upwards at the end, even though the grammar of the sentence would indicate a command if you had purely read it. But he didn’t command. He asked.
Read it to me. With me.
And so we did. And while reading the first page, we started to wrestle with the words. Ever went to a restaurant and had that first bite wherein you immediately tasted something being off? Or experienced the opposite of love at first sight? Or the automatic jerking of a knee when your GP hits you with that hammer? That is what we had with this book.
Sheebo felt it to, he had the shortest sound for it. No. This book is a no. The words are off, the tone is off, the word order is off, the analogies are so off that they don’t even fall on the opposite of the on-spectrum. It is like comparing apples with curtains. Or intention with amnesia. A receding hairline with acid. A Texas accent with.. sheep.
But we must keep reading, Sheebo said to us.
Yes, we must keep reading, we said to Sheebo.
And so we kept reading. In order to minimize the damage we decided to read only one chapter per evening. We only hoped it would not affect our sleep or our dreams. It was the second worst choice we could have made, because otherwise it would have affected our day, and while asleep at least we would think it was just a dream.
This is not a book any more, Sheebo said. This is a chore!
And we agreed. We decided something else after the strict read one chapter per evening thing. We decided we would finish the book. Because we are character builders.
We took turns. Sheebo read to us. And we read to him. After 88 pages we decided this was not a book, nor a chore.
This was a test. An answer to a prayer, perhaps not to the author of this book per se, but to another Jesus for sure. We prayed for meekness. For humility. Please humble us. Please take all the leaven out of our home-made bread and make us less puffed up.
This book was about us, in a way. Because it was in every way imaginable NOT US. So we had opportunity to grow.
Let’s read it from the point of view of the writer, Sheebo said.
Let’s read it from the point of view from the young boy in the book, we added.
Let’s just read it and withhold judgement, we both said.
We both agreed.
And suddenly the book changed. It was not because page 88 continued into page 89, but because we saw how this author was a different writer than we wanted him to be, and how that is perfectly okay. And how this writer had a predictable style, it was almost admirable how someone could keep surprising us with his bad writing. And so it happened that bad turned into surprise, the same way his analogies also did not make sense.
And then this weird thing happened. Someone contacted us. She knew we had the book. She wanted to buy it from us.
And there it was.. The book, first a gift, turned chore, turned task, turned into something that we protected.
Sheebo uttered his shortest answer again. No. No, we will not sell you this book. Not until the book is finished with us, teaching us to be humble.
Continue reading, Sheebo said.
This time it was not a question.
How is it possible that I write to something that does not exist, someone who does not want to exist, and if it does, I make it to not be so. Or I make it not to be so. Word order does not always change the content of what you want to say.
Where have you been all this time, and why have you been here for so long?
Why were you hiding in my full presence and where did you go when you blinded my walking?
How could you not have told me that keeping quiet about you would be the same as keeping quiet about everything you desperately sought to see disappear?
Why did you not tell me you come by other names?
Or that you had consequences for just being you?
Are you the action or the reaction?
Are you the instigator of all pain or the result of something?
Do you come deliberate?
When did I give birth to you?
And if I did, why didn’t you cry when you came into this world, into my life, into my arms. Who put you in my embrace anyway, and why didn’t they tell me that you would grow up into something that at the same speed would prevent me of regretting you were ever there, because the bigger you became, the more you blinded me and I could just not see past my blotted view of life. The colorblind love of my life would also never have been surprised if suddenly all our tomatoes would stop looking bloody read, the same way I just didn’t notice your birth, nor how you took over my life, my brain, my breathing, my words, my everything. You became my nothing. I became you.
When I learned about your existence, I had to call you an addiction to get real with you, to get rid of you. When I learned about your existence, I had to take a good look in the mirror and actually open my mouth, and use not only muscles to talk, but also my heart.
You have covered my words for so long that hearing myself talk hurts the ear. It’s like having to learn to walk all over again, but this time for the first time, the same way God took His people out of Egypt and then made them celebrate the Passover, personal-style. Having words in a dictionary will never win you a battle of love, nor hate. You closed my dictionary and made me into this puffed up human, looking at myself from the outside in, thinking everything is O and K.
Did you gloat? Did you smile? Were you aware of the result in my inner life? Were you the one looking out from the inside, directing me in paths that would guide me along the fruit of broken friendships, the seed of pain, leafs of harshness, and who was feeding who anyway. You me? Me you? Was it you who burned everything behind me, making it impossible for me to return and clouding my judgement to the correct road ahead?
I inhaled you, deeply.
I breathed you, for a long time.
The stupid thing is that I cannot blame anybody for your presence and your monstrous cancer like growth, for they did mention you, but I just did exactly what you are. What you trained me to be a master at.
Dear denial, I did exactly what you trained me to be a master at. I denied.
Where am I, when you come?
Will I be standing in the shower, on a day where I decided yet again that this will be the day where everything will start perfect and I will wash away the sometimes sudden longing of not having to wake up and wonder when I will die, or where.
So here I am, in the shower, naked. And I don’t need to be this clean, but I just love to cover myself in water, if only I had a shower that sprayed warm water over me from every angle I think that would be heaven. I think it reminds me of being in my mother’s womb.
But the difference between then and now is dark..
..turned into light.
So now I am here, grown up, or at least I have the age of somebody who is increasingly being addressed as ma’am. Washing my hair, massaging my skull, my hair. Washing my body with this coconut smell substance that makes my skin as soft as it is wet. Would it happen there that I die?
Will it happen before I had my coffee and my milk and oatmeal?
And which way do I fall? Does my body prevent the water from escaping down the drain, and having no time to turn the water down, it just fills up the whole bathroom, making me lie dead in a pool that after it has reached 2 inches it stays the same level because by then it has overflowed into the hallway.
When will people notice me? Not when the water runs out, because it won’t. Only the hot water does, so eventually I will be lying in cold water, making me pruny.
They will find me wet and naked, all pruny, in the shower.
Or? Or does my heart stop while I am dressing myself, a few feet away from where I just survived death?
They would find me lying on the same cold floor, but now dried off, and they would know I put on my underwear before I put on my socks. And if I die inbetween putting on my socks, they would know I always put on the left one first. What would they decide that I should wear on my funeral? Would they let to keep the socks on? Would they clothe me in the clothes that already layed on my washing machine? Would they smell it first, and know that I have been wearing it at least more than one day, and that I have applied sunscreen during my previous wearing?
They would notice the perfume in my bra, I think this is one of the best smells in life, how the insides of a woman’s bra smells. Now don’t go around smelling bra’s, do this only with the girl you are in love with (and the affect is mutual). Or would they first wash me, and try to put my body in that same shower that I just escaped you in? Would the goosebumps be still on me when they find me, because the floor is cold.
Or will you give me the last coffee and milk with oatmeal? Will it come while making coffee? While bending over to get coffee milk out of the fridge? While reaching on the shelf to get coffee pads out of the jar that says ‘coffee’ on it. Or while getting the jar sitting next to it, saying ‘sugar’?
Will I find you while I refill the coffee machine because I am low on water? Or when I press the button for the coffee to start running? Will I make it to put the sugar actually in my mug? May I still stir? Can I take a sip? Will I die during the smile I get because having coffee in the early morning is heavenly, especially from the black mug, that says coffee on it. Will I fall dead during my walk from the kitchen to my study room, while holding the mug? Then they will find me dead in the hallway, with brown splatter on my green wall, or maybe the brown will have turned into a different color once they find me. I am almost sure that it will have dripped down a little though, whatever color it would be. If they find me during my first serving of coffee, which they will not know by just looking at the broken mug on the floor, but if there is still poo inside me, then you can almost be certain I didn’t have my second cup. Because coffee makes me want to go.
At least I will be fully dressed if they find me during coffee. The same goes for the milk and oatmeal thing. A dead body leaning towards the fridge, probably the fridge is still open, I wonder how long the light stays on, but leaning towards the fridge, with the intention of reaching for the milk, that I have stored in the door of the fridge. Oh, by the way, if you would ever find me dead in my house and you don’t find an opened card of milk, or a still unopened one somewhere, you can safely assume that it is a death that didn’t come naturally. My house will never be without milk. Nor oatmeal. Nor a working kitchen scale. 150grams of milk. 46grams of oatmeal. 14grams of seeds.
Oh, but please.. dear death, don’t come while I am taking a shit.