July 2, 2013
There once was a bald man that was horribly scarred, he wore a long and dusty coat that covered his entire body but his head. His skin was pale, almost alabaster. He looked as if he was dead, but he was more alive than most. His touch was cold, although no woman would ever dare approach him. His breath smelled putrid, like he was eating bullfrogs and mud for the past year. The one thing that was semi appealing was his heart, it was bigger than most. Unfortunately for him, his heart was invisible. Buried deep inside his chest his heartbeat, pumping blood to the rest of his body while he wept and while he roamed the dark city streets. The long and dusty coat kept him warm, but inside he was cold and his heart was desperate for companionship. Alone, he walked the streets and wondered when his day would come.
When would he find his soul mate, would it even happen at all? All night he wandered, he knew that sleep only meant dreams. Dreams that he knew, would never come true. All his life his parents, those that saw him, shunned him. He knew that being this alone was a fate worse than death; he also knew that he would die trying to find true love. The little hair he had atop his bald, almost reptilian skin was thin. It would blow in the wind and at times fall to the ground he walked on, he pressed on. Nothing was more important than love for this shunned man; he lived to seek out anything true. He was searching for something tangible, not like the wind or sunshine that caused beats of sweat to caress his brow. No, he was searching for a true love.
One night, he was wandering the city streets as he does, and he spotted her. She was blonde; her hair was almost like the glow of morning sunshine after a night of rainfall. He knew that she was there for a reason, for him. Was she? Could she be the one that he was so desperately seeking? His heart skipped a beat as she caught him peeking, he scurried away calling himself a fool. The innocence of this woman was almost childlike; she pursued the scarred man down the city streets into an old pressing factory. There was a spiral staircase that led to the main office; he sat at the bottom wishing he had done more. He heard her call, she asked who had run away in such a fright.
The man replied; “It is I, Callaway. I saw you from afar but your stunning looks and sudden notice of me sent my soul into a spiral out of control; much like this black steel staircase.”
The woman was interested, in him? Was she only interested in the idea of a mystery to which she was at the epicenter? The man questioned himself a million times before, but this time was different. He knew that she was his; it was too perfect, too coincidental. He had wandered these dark city streets a thousand times over, yet it never felt this real. He was more alive than most, but tonight he was living.
The woman called out again, “tell me where you are, I want to meet you!”
The man was now nervous, shaking was a normal side effect of his scarring and abnormal heartbeat, but she instigated a shiver up his spine unlike anything he had ever felt before in his scarred life.
He replied, “I want to meet you as well, but I’m afraid you wouldn’t like what you saw.”
The woman was puzzled, hair stood up on her arms and neck and she was even more interested. The woman looked to her left and noticed a candle inside a steel goblet that was sitting on a table. She grabbed the candle and slowly followed the sound of Callaway’s voice.
He said, “Please, I am warning you. I love the way your hair looks, your dress must be made of heavens clouds, but please do not come any further, I don’t think you understand…”
The woman finally found him, she dropped the candle and the man shrieked with perpetual shock that this woman was able to weave her way through this derelict factory to find him weeping at the bottom of the black steel spiral staircase.
The man said, “See! Now you see! I am but a monster; nothing of me is appealing to a woman as beautiful as you. I cannot accept anymore heartbreak, you should have listened foolish lady…”
The woman was shocked, the man had obviously missed the sunlight, and how he was able to compare her locks to the light of our day was beyond her. The woman had experienced many different emotions within seconds of each other; the last one was sorrow. She knew that this man was in desperate need of affection and love, but she had yet decided that she would be the one to grant him that. She slowly approached the man, getting closer and closer with every timid step. The man adjusted his long dusty coat; he had nervous ticks that kept the woman on the tip of her toes.
She said, “Sir, my name is Yolanda. I live just outside of town and I was wondering why you ran away from me.”
To which the man replied, “Oh, Yolanda. When you have been walking these dark city streets as long as I have, your mind body and soul become used to the loneliness, to the cold, to the hopelessness. All of these things you are not, your hair is like rays of sunshine, your dress is beautiful, unlike this damn coat. And you belong in a field of grain, not in this derelict factory demanding the reason for my pain.”
The woman was puzzled, had she stumbled upon a demon? The man was disfigured, scarred. He smelt of the ground, of death. His hair was falling out and his old duster coat had definitely seen better days.
She then asked him the most profound and important question the man had ever heard: “Do you need a hug?” The man was excited, shocked, scared, impressed, and in total disbelief.
He then muttered under his breath: “Yes. But you are way too beautiful to be seen with a monster.”
The woman said: “What was that, sir?” He repeated himself, this time louder, with more emotion and defeat in his voice than any human should have.
The woman got closer, her eyes had tears in them and she used her right hand to maneuver her blonde locks behind her ear. She sniffed and then extended her hand to the scarred and sorrowful man. The man got up to his feet; he was much taller than she originally thought. She smelt his putrid stench, but she ignored it.
The man then looked down and dusted himself off, mentioning that he didn’t want to “Get your dress dirty…”
She then extended both arms and the man practically fell into her grip. She wasn’t ready for this, she gasped and tensed her body at first, but she heard the man whimpering and it somehow calmed her down. Was she sent from Heaven as an angle to save this tormented soul? Was she simply a maternal figure that felt the need to help this poor man? Callaway didn’t care; he had found his soul mate, if only for that short period of time when they embraced.
The man said with a choked throat and tears in his eyes: “You just saved my life, woman. I was shocked to find you standing there, I love you for the rest of my years, you give me happy tears.”
The woman was then crying, as well. She knew that this man hadn’t felt this level, whether small, of love in his entire life. Suddenly, another voice was heard. Another woman had seen this entire encounter from above them on the same exact staircase that the man was weeping.
She laughed, and then said: “Silly woman. That man is hideous! What will your family think? What will your friends think? I can’t believe your naiveté.”
She then walked up the spiral staircase with a pompous, underserved sense of accomplishment. The woman didn’t care; neither did the man. That was the happiest he had felt, ever. That was as accomplished and affectionate and compassionate the woman had ever been. They both knew that they learned something that day. They learned to trust each other, and more importantly, to love at all times, and to be open to love at all times. Yolanda and Callaway would walk together through the dark, city streets for the rest of their respective eternities. Yolanda even convinced the man to buy a suit and join her to feed the birds when they too, needed a hand or two. They both lived happily, much happily, ever after.