You touch me like none other. You share the deepest secrets and engage me – draw me in and wrap around me. I am swallowed and willingly, I submit. You make me strive for a stronger, wiser me and, as you speak luxurious language into my soul, I want to kiss you. I touch your pages with my lips, and swirl my tongue in your cavernous complexities. You sip my insecurities and I am fool enough to trust your power. My eyes trace your outlines as your stories tickle my mind. Laughter. My skin tingles. You whisper mysteries down my spine. Together we probe the meaning of life and love. Our shared experiences laid bare, you crack me open more fully and pull mysteries from that place I never knew existed. I let you reach that question inside of me; we dive into the unknown and surface over and over again. When all is said and done, you betray me.
Those opening lines, our first paragraphs and pages as an item, we held so much promise. I was attentive; I was there for you. But you grew more tame and the passionate point and direction, while still there, is now mottled and muffled. You changed and became something different from my original intent. I try, with a word here and a sentence there, to revive the initial lofty image. You grabbed me, sweet concept, and you tousled my hair with your worthy story craft. Then you left me altogether and sent your doppelgänger to finish me off. But there is something you did not consider, dear words on the page.
As our affair grew hazy I fell out of love with you. And the delicate pages that resulted, a labor of love finished (albeit less lofty than intended), have now charmed me into matrimony.
This flash fiction was inspired by a wonderful work on writing by Annie Dillard.
“The page is jealous and tyrannical. The page is made of time and matter. The page always wins.” Annie Dillard, “The Writing Life“