Prose Poem: A Different Kind of Magic



It was a full moon last night, and I was dreaming.

The dream was one I have had a few times recently, of being in an old house that once was mine but was no longer. It had a very “Beauty and the Beast” feel, with dust tags and heavy sheets draped over the furniture. Strange, faint trumpet music plays in the background.

Things are broken here. In fact, nearly everything is broken. The clock on the mantle is still. There are cracks in the dim, dirty window. Chairs and a magnificent germanic sofa stand on broken legs, with ancient books propping them up.  There are chandeliers with strings of crystal missing, often with only one or two candles lit.

Nothing ever happens in this dream. I just wander through the house, listening to the mournful trumpets, mourning with them at something so wonderful, so long lost, so neglected and so broken.

There is a pantry. The latches are broken and the doors hang open. Spiderwebs drape down from the stacks of plates and cups. Dust and more dust dims the once bright silverware.

Nothing ever happens in this dream. Did I mention that? I wander. I mourn. At some point in the dream, there is a stirring, like a ghost, Never seen, only felt. And I wake.

But not last night.

Last night the dream began again. Familiar and sad. But at one point I came to the front door, a massive, paneled door with grained wood all over. There was a lock there with a heavy cast bronze key. I twisted the key, but it would not move.

In the past, in the dream, I would have walked on. But last night, I did not. I began to take apart the lock. I found pieces and parts I did not recognize, and began to fit them together, a slow mechanical puzzle, using candlelight, using my fingernails as screwdrivers, my fingers as wrenches.

It was slow, even slow for a surreal kind of dream and for a time, all I saw was this strange box of parts, piecing them together this way, then that, not knowing how they fit together, but being very sure when I put them together wrong.

And suddenly, the lock was together. It worked. And, with my hands trembling (I could feel the trembling, even in my sleep.), I turned the key and heard a loud “Click” echo through the old house.

I opened the door and there was sunshine. The trumpet music shifted from a minor key to a major. The air! I could smell flowers. I could feel warmth.

And I woke up.

That my friends, is what it is like to find love when you are older.  It is a different kind of magic from when we are young. Not better or worse, simply different. And maybe more appreciated because of the long dark journey there.

Be well. Travel wisely.


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