Love can be your best treasure, and all the rest after that—by that I do not mean money, that is after all in very short supply in any society that places more of value on family and society than it does on money—do not compare.
My treasure is a bit of you and a bit of me, a scattering of memories, of places and sights that speak of us.
When I am old, and if you will still be with me, I will hold up my pocket knife and let the tarnished blade drag against my body and stare into the wood, as if to study the grain, so that I will know you better than ever before, so that I can tell you a few stories about our days, our strolls along the marshes and the rain-swept fields, and we can close our eyes and remember being together, like in the days when my name was Cassie and you called me Jennifer—at least for that night, when your name was Silvio and I called you Toma—in my dress with a jasmine moire ribbon in the back and a couple of velvet braids going to the middle of my back, and you in a white dress with ruffles at the collar and a buttoned-down plaid jacket with velvet trousers and stockings. We are wearing white hats, white gloves, and white shoes and holding each other by the waist. I love you very much, Toma, very much—so much so that I fear I will fall, if I close my eyes, to that dark, cool, damp land, which has been calling me for a long time. You love me too, you say, but in the way that one loves a mad brother—you love me in a way that reminds you of a friend you once had, but you don’t love me. You love me in the way that a child loves her father: you love me unconditionally, and you tell me all the time that I am beautiful and that you can’t live without me, but you don’t love me like a woman loves a man.
You tell me to get a head start if I want to get home before dawn, so that you can sleep without your fear waking you up in the middle of the night. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up, thinking of you. I am lost in dreams of you. In my dreams you are waiting for me, standing in the courtyard, waiting for me to arrive.
:: 10.21.2020 ::