I remember when I met you. It was such a nice day outside and I had just woken up. As I opened my eyes I noticed that there were many, many strangers in my room, all scurrying about on the floor, bustling around on the carpet and bathing in the sunlight as it poured through the cracks in the blinds. I laid there for awhile, starring over the edge of the bed watching all the strangers busying themselves moving about down there with their neat black suits, bowler hats, and tiny briefcases in hand. Then I noticed you, simply standing amongst the commotion, different from the bedlam of movement taking place around you. You stood there, fixated on the window and I was mesmerized by the way the sun illuminated those short ringlets of red hair.
I wish I knew what overcame me, so I could one day replicate it, but I was overcome with the feeling that I absolutely *had* to go and talk to you. Normally I’m a shy, somewhat misanthropic man and walking up to a scene full of so many unwanted strange bodies would have annoyed me greatly. Seeing you however, filled me with a strange, relaxing surge, the boldness of my next action seemed a bit more bearable. I climbed out of the enormous towering bed I seemed to have found myself in this morning and jumped down onto the floor. Taking a deep breath, I gathered myself, put on my jacket that lay crumpled on the floor, and made my way over to you for the first time.
I approached, stood behind you for a second and went to tap your shoulder; as I did you turned around before I could even part my lips.
“You like my hair don’t you?”
“Well, I like the relationship it seems to have with the sun.”
And from that brief weird interaction it all began to unfold, you took my hand and we went down the spiral staircase leading to my room, out the door and into the bustling street. Something about you was so infatuating, my god, just thinking about it makes me reminiscent still, I was so drawn to you. It was as if being around you made me a different person, someone I wanted to be. It made to no sense to me; since after all I didn’t know in the least bit yet.
That was it, the classic boy-meets-fanciful-pixie girl moment; just as it had played out over and over and over again in my mind and the mind and the minds of hundreds of thousands of other socially inept young men with poor communication skills.
As we walked around town on that gray morning I just remember it all being so incredibly peaceful. The day itself was a lot like you; not a picturesque display of the traditional beauty, but still so god dammed charming. It was so pleasant to be around you, running through puddles of stars on a cloudy day. You can probably imagine how shattered I became when I noticed the golden diamond-topped band on your finger.
“Hey, what is that?”
“On your finger… there”
“It’s a ring; but you already knew that didn’t you?”
‘Oh,” you said, beginning to adopt a somewhat forlorn look on your face “we’re having fun though aren’t we? I know what you’re thinking.”
“Yeah, I noticed that you knew, somehow.
“Stop, stop talking, just run with me.”
And I did. You took off running down a tree covered street as I tried my best to keep up; just another pathetic attempt to always be near you, and how fitting that you were so much faster than me. When you finally stopped and I managed to catch up, the sun had set. The suburban streets we galloped through stayed perfectly still and silent in that moment, the only break being the orange light that hummed from the street lamp overhead. We were in front of a gorgeous large pink house now; it had to be several stories high. Craning my neck upward to inspect it I would lose count every time I tried to get an exact number, but I could hear the distant thumping of upbeat music coming from the inside.
Without needing to catch your breath or missing a beat at all you grabbed my hand and dragged me toward the front door.
“Come, let’s go inside, you’ll love it in here, those are my friend in there, and they all want to meet you.”
Inside the house was dark, but still faintly lit by pink and blue neon lights. You didn’t introduce me to anyone as we made our way through the foyer; but it wasn’t a problem, I felt like I was surrounded by all of the warmest, friendliest people I had ever met. Without saying anything at all, the warm genuine looks that were being thrown my way as we passed by the new faces put me at ease. I’m not sure if I drank while we were there, I can’t remember. Eventually I ended up alone though, pressed against a wall in a grand ballroom with dark pink walls and a magnificently high ceiling. I stayed there awhile staring out into the iridescently lit festivity that sprawled out in front of me, enjoying being around such lively people in what felt like a magical pink castle. Parties always did make me nervous, so this felt comfortable, or where I belonged.
The home itself was beautiful, eventually I began to explore and go in and out of rooms that felt as if no one was ever supposed to go into them. As I inspected each room I didn’t find much difference between them, every one of them was unlit and contained only a series of bookcases that lined the interior walls, along with three couches organized in various patterns at the center of each room. It was still easy to sense the regality of the rooms and the house itself. It looked and felt like a dazzling Victorian mansion, dipped in strawberry ice cream and bathed in blacklight.
Though every door was unlocked, my presence was obviously unwanted in these rooms; being in them was like being on a meticulously manicured front lawn. Even though there was no “KEEP OFF” sign marking any neatly trimmed grass, each step made me feel more like a trespasser.
Finally I managed to find you; I pushed open one of the massive carved double doors, revealing what looked like an elegant, candle-lit restaurant and there you were sitting alone at a table set for two, beaming at me as if I was the only thing possible thing that could have been missing from the scene. As I made my way toward your table I became fixated on that smile you were tossing at me. I will be lucky if I’m ever able to be gazed at with such sincerity ever again. If I could describe it in one breath, you were looking at me as I had come to grab your hand and walk you with you peacefully through time itself.
After sitting down across from you, somehow in-between one quick turn of my head to look back at the door, our table suddenly became arranged with two alluring plates of food. The combination of food itself was very strange, consisting of some sort of roasted meat I assumed was a tender cut of beef and an endless helping of sliced avocados. I hated avocados, but loved the sound of your laughter more than anything in the world and we were having such a delightful time. Much like any good meal however, that moment between us ended before fulfillment could set in.
I blinked once and immediately as I reopened my eyes we were back under the night sky, running again; this time through salty winds, speeding toward a dock in the distance. As we sprinted through the serene night we passed several small quaint houses painted in bright citrus colors, all neatly arranged one by one in an almost office like manner.
Once we finally arrived at the dock, we were met by another crowd of strange faces, or faces that were strange to me at least. It seemed again as if all these people knew you, greeting you warmly and embracing you with an obvious familiarity. Though they were happy to see me you, each of these faces made a point to stop and give me a look that seemed to say “Just who is this strange man?” as the eyes passed over my timid exterior. Because of the pleasantries exchanged between you all, I was able to easily discern that they were members of your family. I also found out that my presence was, at best, frowned upon, if not completely unwanted. Who could blame them, married daughters don’t often run off into surreal adventures with eccentric shy men they just met; and if they do, they certainly bring them around to meet the folks.
I was still clearly uninvited, but for some reason I just kept following along, going with you and everyone else into the small shack that sat aside the dock and was labeled with a large wooden painted sign that read “BOAT TOURS”. We piled into the small lobby as someone I assumed to be your mother began to speak in a low muffled voice to the old man behind the counter, in fact I could barely tell the person behind the counter was a man or a woman due to the dinginess of the shack we were all crammed into; all I knew was “your mother” spoke to a figure briefly and the results of that was six tickets handed to her for what I assumed was a boat tour of the area. Six tickets but I counted seven of us in the shack. It was pretty easy to guess who wasn’t invited in on this boat ride.
At that point I felt as if I was barely in existence to you, such a sharp contrast to how I felt mere moments ago in the pink castle. For some reason I continued to follow the group from behind, despite no one acknowledging me or even making eye contact at this point. We all walked to the edge of the dock and everyone began to file onto a large egg shaped boat. It was a strange little vessel; there was a deep sunken in area in the center of the boat with two rows of red, velvet theatre-style seating. There was a podium at the very front of the boat with a wheel attached for steering. The perimeter of the boat was surrounded by a two foot metal railing, and finally there was no further protection on this boat to prevent someone from falling over the edge. It looked like a concept drawing for a speedboat drawn by a child who had never seen a real boat in person, or even the ocean for that matter.
Everyone began to take their seats and I, naturally found a spot in the back out of everyone’ way. You were up at the front, seated next to your mother and the distance between us felt like it had suddenly without notice grown to a planetary proportion. It was raining now, and the once dark sky had shifted to a cool light blue. Morning was approaching and the old figure from the shack took their place at the front of the boat and started the engine with a key turn. I noticed that I was sitting in the only seat without a safety belt of any sort, but we had already begun moving and it was too late for me to speak up.
Abruptly, my vision began to get blurry and distorted as if someone had ripped the glasses off of my face and struck me in the head with a wrench. You and everyone else in front of me turned into barely distinguishable shapes in the rain. The boat picked up speed as we pulled further and further away from the dock and what felt like the entire world itself.
The streets we ran through together, the pink castle, the table where we sat and basked in one another’s unfiltered admiration; all of it existed only in my imagination now. As we continued to tear through waves of salt water and bounce rhythmically through the blue vastness I started to slip away from the seat of my chair. Nauseating terror ran through me as I fell into the middle aisle in between the two rows of seating. I desperately reached out for something to grab onto, to no avail. I tried to shout out for help but when I opened my mouth no words were capable of escaping. The boat bounced over one more particularly large wave and that was the end of it. My body went flying over the side of the boat just as I had feared originally; somehow I was magically passing through the small railing as if it didn’t exist at all.
Tears ran down my face as the realization came that no one had so much as glanced back to witness what was happening to me. I crashed into the cold, hard sea in what felt like slow motion, still hopelessly reaching out toward the boat as it continued to pull away. Just as my body forfeited and I began to sink into the ocean, it all ended.
My eyes opened and I was lying there in my bed again, calmly listening to the low hum of the fan in my window; once again in my room, in my now normal sized bed as the sun poured through my very average, realistic set of blinds.
My room was empty this time, you weren’t there staring through the window, no tiny men scurrying about in tidy suits. I quickly began to piece it all together; you, the ring on your finger, the absurdity of everything that happened while we were together, it all started to make sense.
It wasn’t another person you were married to, it was existence itself. The ring symbolized that you would always remain just an idea in my head, a child-like, selfish little fantasy I created in my mind to rock myself through the loneliness of each night and into my dreams. I woke up just in time to be reminded;
Magic pixie dream girls don’t exist
They’ll never exist.