These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Arena - Fiction by Marjorie H Morgan


The prologue

Grass is persistent and always finds a way to grow through concrete, as does love; it will find the soul no matter how deep it has been hidden by anger and loss. Weeds often shadow the grass and differentiation is needed.

The stadium of life can catch you in the spotlight when you least expect it. Then individuals become transfixed by a persistent beam like rabbits on a country road.

Act 1

What is born each night and dies each dawn?

I am here.
This is who I am. Here in this world. I have chosen to use my real name. Then, why would I do otherwise? This is virtually all I know.

I did not ask questions until it was too late. Like Lego we clicked together without any real effort or struggle. Close fitting. Comfortable.

I entered this virtual world as my self. My history has taught me to be honest. I told all within a moment. I felt no shame and the mute self that usually shadows me had fled in the glare of the neon flat-screen. As I experienced this new birth I shook my cocoon loose. I realised that I could never go back. I shrugged in my chair; I planned to stay here as long as you could bear. I need you more than I need to sleep.

Tomorrow always takes care of itself. It releases its anchor and slips into today, yet it still exists as tomorrow.

When I did not know you, when you lived in my concealed thoughts of the future, then I was not enslaved. I was free to roam and be just a part of me. Now I have to be more of me since what is born can never return to the ovule state. There is no reversal of my growth. Going back never works … only death will stop my dreams, but it will never stop my heart and the love that lives there.

I did not know your history or who you had decided to reveal to me when we met and joined together in that aligned world.

For months, or maybe it was mere shards of moments joined together, we rearranged the other worlds so that in effect we could meet. The real consequence was the withdrawal of emotions from the flesh and blood that surrounded me. Knowledge was ignored in place of emotions and desires. I believed the façade and I took time to enhance it.

The keyboard tapped out my dreams and you interweaved yours with mine, as if you knew me. I was never hidden, at first; I tried to hide when it was too late. I had revealed too much of my heart and nothing could heal it. Like Juliet, I did not want it to be healed. I wanted to suffer in the Buddhist way, to feel the pain, because without it I would forget. I have no desire to forget or to move beyond the knowledge of the love that has captured me.

I willingly neglect my duty to develop the cessation of the painful feelings that are my new world. Why stop now? I never stopped to reflect before I embarked on this act of revelation. Did you?

I grew to know you. My life was reversed as I moulded it to fit in with yours. Whatever gaps I placed in my story you filled them and fitted into them like decorator’s caulk. Not once did you disappoint me.

Feeling full is a satisfying state. The thousands of hungry people that roam the earth looking for nourishment first have to satisfy the base craving for food before the desire for love can be approached. In the position of comfort I found you and mirrored your contentment.

I didn’t care about love until I was loved and loved you back. But even then I didn’t really care. It was still part of the game that I have played all my life. I dig for the elusive value that flirts with my sleeping mind, and then when I touch something of a unique and different form I am frightened so I quickly give up the search as unfulfilled. Fear of success makes me run.
If I find this prize too soon what else will I have to do for the rest of my time here? Knowing that you hold my matching part I run.

You see, you surprised me by your affection. It was unexpected. You got under my skin when I had sewn myself up tightly years ago. No room to breathe, or so I thought, no room for any kind of emotional manoeuvre but you parallel parked your heart with mine. Matched.

It was not love that caused the other millions to perish. Not many people have ever died of love. Absence of love caused the murders. Somebody should have said so before.

The day I entered this world, the one you entered simultaneously, that was the day when we became gods and began to create our universe. In the beginning there was void and our lives were without shape and darkness covered the face of our non-existence. The loss that had accompanied my body since birth was arrested for a wonderful week as we discovered our prosperity in each other. The shadow of decay was eclipsed as you covered me and we became one.

I have a new identity.
Your words formed me and I am marked for life. Like the Jews with the numbers imprinted on their flesh I remain captive to you. Even when you are not here, with me in the now. I am linked to you through these markings. Where you have touched me, outside and in. I have the trace of you forever as part of my flesh.

I have been rescued from my history. The love that is here, now, has stripped me of the mask that I lived behind in safety from you and myself. I am afraid that I will not be able to exist without my disguise. Exposure is a risk that I take alone only once every century.

‘I am giving you myself,’ you said.
‘I want to belong to you, to be yours.’
I hesitate to believe your words. I have heard these lies before. I wait for the punch line. It never comes. Are you true?
I was silent as I heard your heart beating in time with mine. Was it just the one heart that we have started to share? The one dream? A dream is always a risk. Ask Schlinder. His way of making dreams come true was to save a life or a hundred. His risk was to give time and effort to fulfil his vision. He had his list. To be named is to be saved.

I am new yet worn out from being here before. Please do not make me tired with promises that are empty. I still cling to hope.

But you still went away.
‘Loose ends to be tied.’ You said with too much sadness I think.

Your absence is staggering. It touches everywhere I am.

I constantly form you when you are not in my eye line. The memory of your recent presence becomes real in my mind. You rest in my imagination.

‘Is this the last goodbye?’ you asked in a low voice.
‘Let’s not talk of being final.’
‘I need total honesty.’
‘You know that I cannot leave you now, now that I have found you. Is that what you want to hear? That is my truth. I love you.’
‘I just wonder how long these special moments will last…’
‘As long as you value and remember them.’ I said.
‘Do you?’
‘Do I what?’ seeking clarity I persisted in repetition.
‘Value and remember them as I do.’
‘I will never be the same because of them. I am better because of this sliver of existence that we have shared. Because of you… I will.’
‘There is a rightness in this… do you know what I mean?’
‘Yes. I do.’ I nodded to affirm the fact to both you and myself.

Hope. Alive for the night.

Act two

What flickers red and warm like a flame, yet is not fire?

When I first saw you in Piazza Bra the ancient met the modern as the voices from the arena swooped through my thoughts. You found my soul!
The thoughts of acquiring anything but you fled from my mind. Prada and Gucci departed with Versace, Valentino, and Ferrè as I followed you through the gates into the arena.  I wanted you to notice me, but not immediately. I needed to savour you first.
Solemnly you paraded through the columns and arches. A lone horn player caused the crowds to hush for a moment. Combined applause greeted the effort. When all the visitors revert to anonymity you have moved upwards, nearer to me.

Scholars have spent their lives searching for the soul but it is discovered only by feeling. To know of the soul is to attempt to coax a beautiful sound from an instrument on the first encounter. To know the soul is to be joined as one with the source of the joy. This awakened spirit reigns the body. All decrees must be followed without question.

I climbed the steep steps and gazed at your glory below me. To the top of three tiers of marble arches I spring. Northwest of this structure is now the centre of my world. I sit above you, becoming your crown.
The arena was the perfect backdrop to your beauty. Arena di Verona has become my Garden of Eden. My heart is made of sand and trickles in your wake.

You are the protagonist that my life story has been missing: welcome to my plot.

Maria Callas has sung about us in this place before this intersection materialised in our lives. I have been wandering and everyone looked the same; until I saw you.

I wonder what language you use to express your love. I wonder what blessing brought me from London last week when I wanted to curl up alone in my flat instead. Songs of praise are on my lips just for the pleasure of viewing you. Michelangelo knew the joy when he saw David after years of imagining him. Are you a mirage?

You excite me like a snowstorm and the sun is flooding the stones as I breathe you in trying to calm my pulse. You leave me no choice but to know you. This pure belief propels me onwards. I cannot waste any time, I have to reach through this interval that you have expanded and spread around me.

The cobblestone streets fell behind me. I pursued you from one private garden to another, through the streets bustling with tourists and slower walking natives. The vibrancy eased me along. I remain locked within the defence system of the Castelvecchio.
Within the walls I hunted you. Through the forests of stone.
Panic struck me when your glorious dark hair was obscured by a fervent shopper. I rushed past: too eager. Then, before I could adjust my steps, I saw that you had paused at a gift shop and I charged into you.
I am bare in front of you. I know you read my soul in an instant. Happiness is not accidental.

Embarrassment sits on my face.
‘Sorry…’ I offer while my mind suggest ‘stay.’
I do not move away after offering myself to you. I cannot go now. Never.
‘No problem,’ and you are also planted in the earth.
‘Would you like to join me for a coffee,’ I propose astonished at my strength and willingness to take a chance.
‘That would be lovely.’
‘Do you know anywhere close by?’
‘Via Mazzini. Just through here.’
The brightness inside me starts to transform me; it is forcing the blackness away.
My breath travels rapidly around my head as I look sideways at you. We walk together, like it had always been so. My steps are delighted for this moment. The fractured moments and places are ancient.

‘I felt the mark of your look,’ you said, ‘I wanted you to find me.’

Our last evening together in the Arena was much like our first: the atmosphere was taut. Just two nights and I have learned to talk of trust. Anxiety has not completely vanished but my enthusiasm for you has starved it.  As the sun slithered below the sky and behind the horizon we lit the mocoleto in symphony with countless others. The flickering beams glowed around the stones and smiles. A pale silver light rose in the sky. We wrap around each other while we are illuminated by untold happiness.

‘Beautiful,’ you whispered.

We knew that separation was imminent, but planned against its permanence. You have captured and controlled time. We combine our past and future to make our lives now.

Turandot was fascinating and unforgettable. But I am only entranced by you. I am alive.

Blood. Red and warm, flickering like a flame.

Act three

What is like ice but burns?

You tore away my ruthless rigidity. I am ashamed of my rapid surrender to your approach.
I became undone by a look. I was called without words.

‘Don’t leave me…’ I whisper. Regret strikes me as I speak. I am forever exposed by my plea. I am afraid of separation now.
I closed my eyes while I waited for you to make a sign.
‘You don’t understand how much this means to me,’ I think while my blood attacks my ears with loud drumming.

The silence is long.

You kiss me and I melt like ice cream left in the sun too long. I turn into a humble and suppliant worshiper before you.

Your cigarette drops un-smoked as you reach for my hand.

Desire never had a place expressed outside of my body. It inhabited my mind before your touch.
Now I am no longer underground. You have excavated me. I let you into my hiding place. And I was afraid.

‘I want to tell you,’ I think.
‘What is it?’
‘That you want to say. What do you want to say?’
‘Just say it, don’t think and sanction it, just say it.’
‘You can trust me now you know.’
Locking eyes, I do know. Thank you.
I speak.

Now you really know.

Being fearless and leaving the land of regret I come to you. I learn to walk in pace with you and slow down as I am no longer in a hurry to escape those shadows that surround me like pack dogs. I am looking at the same world in a different way, through our eyes. I want to belong here with you.

I am excited to know what you are thinking about, the way you search the answers out of me makes me yearn to share, sometimes, when I don’t think first. With supreme sensitivity we enter a territory of limitless realities.


You worship me, here and now. I slip between the cracks in my memory.

Then devotion was frightening.
I refused my father. This was my moment in history when my time ran out.

My agony was explicit as the memories repeated.

‘This too shall pass.’ I chant, about everything except us in the now.
Former things have passed away.
Hesitantly I take you through the border of my mind and into my childhood remembrance.


I lay down my gladius. I will not fight off love again.

This world I need to preserve. Reality is no longer harsh. The broken days that hold no being and leave no evidence have gone since your arrival.

‘Since the first moment…’
‘Since that first moment, well, I have both loved and feared you.’
‘Why both? Why both?’
‘I will never harm you, you know? Never. You are dearer to me than … anything. I cannot name one thing because it will diminish your worth to me. I name everything as worthless in place of you. Do you understand me now?’
‘I feared that I would love myself by loving you. I do. But it is past. The fear has passed. I have spoken from inside and now, now, I put my life in your hands. I hope you will treasure it as I do you.’
‘Don’t cry, my sweet, don’t cry.’
I have allowed you to take me prisoner because I am free.
‘I cry through the release of joy, not through any sadness. The sadness has disappeared. Thank you.
‘You do care, don’t you?’
I hurtle on, afraid again for a moment. Afraid to let a breath or a word slip in before I have laid my soul on the block. There is no retreat. I have no repeal anyway.
‘Indifference would crucify me. You know that don’t you?’
‘If I could be any more devoted … it would kill me. I am yours. You must feel that?

I do.

‘I am your exception because I kiss you without betrayal.’ Those were your ten words of revelation.
I disbelieve my life theory of emptiness. You are my other thought. The darkness is repaired by the person that is you. Things fade in worth.

Your smile wipes away my angry fear and replaces it with love. I have found what I had lost before I knew its name. My thirst is quenched by your presence and desire to make me a part of you.

A love hymn plays between our bodies as you plunge into me as a seal fixed in wax. You cement our foundations and we exist on a plateau. Encased in pure enjoyment. I make no attempts to conceal the pain, for it has died. With joint shadows we can go into the future.

This is the future. I am here.

Your true identity is … love.

Hatred and Fear. Both burn like ice.

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