Most mornings I get up long before the sun rises. I sit on my front porch (small with a lot of cracked concrete) and listen to the almost silent wind chimes of my neighbors. I sip my coffee slowly, without really tasting anything, and smoke those cigarettes that seem such a compliment to an early morning. I suppose in ways there is promise in the mornings, but mostly it is just a quiet time to allow myself to finish my dreams of the night before.
And oh, do I have dreams. I have dreams that would keep you in awe, and help you to fly to places and worlds that you can only imagine. Some of my freedoms are based on reality, places that I imagine myself waking up in, and worlds that I can hide for short periods of time until the reality of my life, or even the reality of my dreams began to erode at my existence. The lovely thing for me, is once a dream is given reality I can simply fly to another.
If I were leaving on a jet plane, I might head to the dry elevations of Arizona. I would wake up at dawn and bend long limbs into strange poses, and breathe the air to settle my lungs. I would go on hikes that showed me the absolute beauty of a mammoth stone standing sentry over the world’s secrets. I would watch the oranges, the reds, the yellows bleed into one another until there was nothing of my vision but the one silently standing before me. I would eat fruit so juicy, so fresh, so sweet, that I would wonder if the chef hadn’t tasted each one to personally guarantee their perfections. And the end of the day would be bathed in the silence of health, the silence of respect, the silence of beauty.
If I were leaving on a jet place, I might head to the beauty of Paris. But I wouldn’t stop to listen to the voices of foreigners, or listen to the bells and whistles of a culture I have never seen. Instead the only sounds I would listen to is the soft, rubber soles of my shoes, and a small voice talking to me about a man long dead. I would see all the emotion humans could not spare, and all the truth in the madness of greatness. I would watch in almost agony the face of a woman encased in marble waiting in sorrow for a love that does not exist. I would listen to the cherubs playing along the ceilings, and wonder at God’s irony. I would feel the strokes of the human existence in the blending paint of canvases years old, and wonder at the insanity that takes one to the brink of perfection. I would be moved by the emotions so plainly stated, and yet never my own.
If I were leaving on a jet plane, I may instead head to a simple hotel. With nothing fancy, but a view of a large city, and the quietness that is only confirmed in chaos of the streets. I would let down my guard and write until my fingers were numb. I would not hear the simple knock on the door nor the ring of a telephone. There would be long baths, longer walks to breathe the putrid air of the smoke I crave, and the brightness would be dim. It would be a madness that surrounded me without ever touching me. It would be sleeping when the urge came, and losing the guilt in the hidden. It would be freedom in the loneliness, the escape, the silence.
If I were leaving on a jet plane maybe I would fly silently to the coast. In the morning mist, I would walk out to a dock and sip my coffee in silence. I would idly glance at those hardy souls that walked their pups in the same air, and feel the breeze caress my skin. There would be a symphony in the sounds of the waves, and the silent cries of the morning rountines. The house behind me would stand silently, still sleeping, guarding the occupants so that another day of fun could be had. The steps that I sit on would be uncomfortable, worn wood from the salty air. The dunes would hold the parts of the world just waking up, and would protect me from eyes I don’t want to see. There would be a magic in the stillness despite the moving water before me; there will be a silence in the air despite the life surrounding me. It will fill me with possibilities, with hope, with the remembrance of other days I sat so silently on docks far away. I would not be interrupted by the life surrounding me, but rather bask in the mist rolling out to sea. The day will start perfect, and remain the dreamy fantasy of hope and perfection it started with.
If I were leaving on a jet plane I would go to a place so beautiful, so heart wrenching, that reality has no hold. I would go to a place where the wonder of the Gods is easily seen, and the fascination of the children is but a touch away. I would go a place that was silent in its loudness, and dark in its light. I would find a way to bring it into my soul so as to survive another day. I would be lonesome, but not lonely. I would be happy, without joy. I would be content and crying as my soul healed.
I would still return on that same jet plane to a world that is often cruel, and often full of misery. I would still return to a world of my children’s laughter and my husband’s love. I would always return to the reality of this disease, and the knowledge that there is no escape. It would make the journey sweeter, the path longer, and the reality much more easily ignored. The path would be paved not with intentions, but with the inattention of being lost. Lost to the music, lost to the art, lost to the sounds only those who are still can ever hear. It would heal me, and then it would bring me back to a world not of my choosing, but mine nevertheless.