you and me

Dreams of Some Gypsy: A Fantasy.

I wait for him. Here, under the highest moon, by the shore of our indiscretion. This love is impossible, forbidden, forever an arm’s length out of reach.

He is the gypsy. Traveling by night, forever roaming. When we lay our heads down to sleep, chances are he will have disappeared by morning’s light. I am growing accustomed to this pattern. Time with him is urgent, the sands of our hourglass eternally slipping away, all too swiftly. He represents the darkness, the shadowy spaces that transform the light. And in this darkness, I am home.

I wait expectantly on some sign of his arrival. The quickening of my heart as his shape comes into view over the dunes. The constellations become a road map, he will appear when the little dipper rises above the coast. When the dipper is in line with my upturned face and impatient heart, he will return to me.

I seek out signs of him everywhere. The sound of a train whistle in the distance, the dark crystals at the market stalls, a pink hue in the evening sky signaling a sailor’s delight — any one of these signs, or best of all, all three, signal his closeness. This morning I awoke to the train whistle, three distinct horns calling out while rolling into town.

My fantasies , rich and ancient, collected like fireflies in a jar, may find their way to fruition by nightfall.

There’s a chill in the air, like there always is while I am waiting on him. The goose pimples on my flesh ache to be warmed under his touch. His magic spell, binding me to this temptation, is in the air once more. I resist the urge to run towards him as his unmistakable stride appears in the moonlight. I catch my breath, a sigh of mad elation and relief wash over me. He has returned.

I can breathe once more — fully, deeply — so alive am I. His smile is easy, spreading across his crooked face and brightening his sad eyes. There is no rhyme or reason to this affair — it takes more than it gives in every instance. The passion and camaraderie will vanish, leaving a wake of confusion and emptiness. And still, I jump headfirst into every exchange. 

The salty air licks at our skin, we embrace while shielding one another from the breeze. I take in his scent, miles of road have weathered him, he wears the miles like a cloak , adding wisdom and distance to his mortal body.

He seems thinner, probably he has been living on fruit and nuts most of his journey. My heart wishes to prepare him a feast of meat and rice, but of course, there is no time for that. And no place we could rightfully be seen together.

I tussle his hair, the black curls which have become knotty over the days and weeks of this latest adventure. The lines of his face soften, we smile here together on the sand. 

He lights a fire, small enough so that we will not be noticed or disturbed in our secret cove. Pulling an old bottle out of his bag, he tells me of the places he has visited, the people and politics of this mighty world that I know so little about. We sip from the bottle, a sugary sweet rum of some kind. The alcohol warms my belly and makes my head feel lighter.

I lean in even closer to him now, eagerly taking in his every word and gesture. I am memorizing these moments, filing them away like film strips in my mind, so that I may access them later when he is gone and I need him most. 

We laugh easily together, nearly finishing each other’s sentences. I long to kiss his lips, but I don’t want to rush this either. His words are as seductive as his hands. They can touch me in equal measures, both are ecstasy-inducing. His voice feels like home, warm and gritty as whiskey. He stokes the fire and asks me how things are going. When he asks this, he wants the truth.

He asks me to search my soul and give him the straight goods. I can hide nothing from him, it would insult us both. I tell him of my writing, my screaming and battered heart. I tell him of family and friends, the balance I am striking to let my soul evolve. The confusion I have had of late about which path to take next.

He tells me it’s all in transition, the shift will pull me through the ringer and then spit me out confidently on the other side. I am on the right track, it will all work out. His words ease my troubled mind, I trust he is right. The sheer fact of us sitting together on this shore are proof enough that magic exists, that there is a plan bigger than our eyes can see. 

As the moon gets higher, our time grows short. Just as Juliet’s window light arrived to let love out, the rise of the morning sun will signal my Romeo’s departure. The time for lovemaking, without room for any more talk, is upon us. It is a bittersweet hour. He takes me in his arms and we kiss for the first time this evening. A tentative and gentle kiss.

We are getting too know one another all over again, we are both transformed since the last time we lay together like this. I tumble deeply into the kiss, finding his careful tongue and allowing the trance of our passion to take over me. Hands and lips are a tangle in this seaside sanctuary.

His touch, like his kiss, is firm yet loose. He leaves me room to dance with him, to take the lead or be taken. Naked now, we are covered in sand and awash with starlight. His fingers are through my hair, my legs are wrapped possessively around his waist. A single tear streams down my cheek, I do not want this to end.

It is the nature of our beast — all-consuming lust that must be set free. We cannot remain like this forever. 

As the first birds of morning whistle out to us, our union becomes more urgent. The finale of this night is at our door. Together we race towards a hungry climax. The slow dance is over, a quickening pulse rises up in us both. We arrive together, in a spasm of longing and divinity. He collapses above me and we breathe deeply together, wrapped in each other’s arms for a precious moment more.

He kisses my third eye and wipes the tears from my cheeks. There are no words, we have said them all already. As he stands over the embers of our fire, dousing it out, I pack up the bag and what’s left of the rum bottle. The sun will make its grand appearance soon, we must work quickly to dispose of our evidence.

I take one last glance at the sand angels our bodies have made, before covering them over with my feet. He smiles a wry smile, takes me in his arms, and tells me what I will always know: he loves me. The kind of love that leaves you be, lets you become, always disappears in the morning light but holds you in rapture through the darkest nights.

Your only proof of it existing at all is the fantasy left behind, the memory of love’s lucid dream. A love that will never be pinned down or bottled in a jar. A love without labels, reason or sense. It’s automatic, it’s infinite, alien almost.

I turn away from him, to stop the tears and retain the smile he has blessed me with. Another night come and gone, my table adorned with his forbidden fruit — a secret as old as time itself . 

I wake with a start, the morning sun fills my room and brings with it the harsh realization that it was a just a dream. Always a dream and never the real thing. I vow to find a way to make this make-believe come true. But first I must tend to the day, the cats and kids and the dishes. I sigh and carry on without him.

***

Ashley Tonic is a mother, writer, poet, and wild child Gemini daughter of this Universe. She grew up the black sheep of her family in Canada’s ultra-conservative capital city of Ottawa. She has left no stone unturned thus far on her Earth journey, and looks forward to the many adventures, lessons and experiences that await her yet. Ashley is a passionate star-sailor, navigating life with a sword at her side taking on the form of a pen. She is passionate about people and places, living by the codes of ‘Leave it better than you found it’ and ‘No man gets left behind’.

***

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