Short writing exercise, using the song Next to me a prompt: WRITE!!!.
“Oh, our future was written with crayons and colouring books”… and dreams. Adulthood should have felt like falling through technicolor skies and a purple cotton haze. But, alas, I grew up and found my twenties and thirties to be nothing like the crayon coloured dreams we had when we were ten. I still think of you, sometimes the hollow space, between my breasts, echoes with the sounds of our childish laughter. Do you remember how we met? It was the third grade, Miss Armstrong put us to sit together, and you introduced yourself as a werewolf. We were seven and werewolves were as real as the bluest sky. Sometimes, I wonder. We made a pact at sixteen, do you remember? Remember how we promised we would never grow up; How you would play your guitar, and draw your comics, fuck anyone, who said that wasn’t an adult way to earn a living. I was Alice; you were the Hatter, and we were free.
Youth tricks you into feeling invulnerable but age reminds you of your frailty. Last week when you sent me new photos of the kids, through misty eyes I recalled our youth – we were seven again. Long after the colour fades from our dreams, long after reality darkens our skies, there still remains the glimmer of a dream fickle in the night. Next to me, is where my wilderness lies. Arid deserts rise up against the barren canvas of undiscovered dreams. Where, time has eked away at all, but the thought of something more, and I am left waiting on fallow soil to yield fruitful crop.
The Alice we all know still plays at the edges of her favourite boy’s hat, and though she knows who she is; she waits for him to come back. We know she is brave; we know she is smart, but with the looking glass gone there is no one there – to pull her through. For, long long ago, in a time that lasted one upon a while, we believed in fairy tales. They taught us magic, and faith, and showed us our very best selves. But they were remiss, they forgot to teach us about the drudgery of the now . None of them explained to us that even the yellow brick road could get potholes. Where was the Blue Fairy to sprinkle a little fairy dust, when grandpa died. Why couldn’t I have just flown away? Instead, my grand adventures sit discarded amongst the ruins of lollipop castles and ginger snap hills. Who are we, when the extraordinary is no where in sight; when marmalade sarnies are nothing more than citrus rind, sugar, and bread?
I see your son’s photo, and pictures of us emerge: A girl with pigtails and a boy with a sideburns sit at a desk and daydream of seasides, and ice cream. On other days, I just pull out my notebook and write my way into the sea. Though we are separated by oceans, and continents, and families, and lives, it’s only forever because you dreamed it with me, and we sealed it with our secret handshake and spit. I’ll write my own rainbows, and a future as bright as a dream, and I know Hatter, I’ll find you standing taller than me. We’ll cut tiny little people and colour them bright blue and green,’Cause there is nothing in this world we can’t fix with some scissors and glue.”