Recently I was given the gift of something truly remarkable – and especially so for a story and word obsessed lexisexual who craves thoughtful external perspective.
Over several uncensored nights, Fig, my Sometimes Lover and Continual Delight (you might remember him from What’s (Infinite) Love Got to Do With It?) enthralled me with an epic tale about a woman wildly experiencing love, sexuality, exploitation and self-awareness. Like a strapping, modern day masculine Scheherazade, he left me hanging for days in between instalments, all of which were sent via a series of late night texts that felt channeled rather than written. I was fascinated to find out what came next.
Despite its grandiosity and occasional surrealness, this story didn’t seem like a fictional account…but wasn’t until the third instalment that it started to strike me as undeniably familiar. I was caught up, as if I didn’t already know the elements, yet beginning to recognise myself and, through a richly symbolic veil, events of my life, more and more.
This was my story, seen from the outside, and told by someone who had perhaps more admiration for my experience than I realised.
Life imitates art imitates life: confessing a desire to be worshiped to him before the story’s inception provoked the tone of the piece, even as that adoration started to appear in real and surprising ways for me. I think the container of the prose even allowed him to communicate with me in a more openly devotional sense than he’d been able to before, feelings that had previously had no outlet freed by this new context.
I feel and learn something different every time I read it – such is the power of a good narrative, and the power of the gift he has given me.
The story has been reproduced here with his blessing, and to my delight.
A queen doesn’t sit on her throne.
Every eye towards her, half devoted in worship,
Others jealous, accusatory.
All with the Lust.
Raw in some.
And it was the unkempt that swept her from her perch and into their quick, grubby palms.
They gripped and twisted, till the queen’s flesh bit back.
Teeth bared towards the beasts. Battle, and then battle, tied together so strangely by passionate, hair curling Ecstasy.
She would hunt and ride the violent nature of those who never left the treetops, where she could laugh and scream to the whooping of madness. She would rough and tumble and be animal. But in the mornings she would collect herself and leave them to stare up at the stars.
Allow her next to be the tall man who offered her slippers with a quiet bell. Each day was a maze, and she would walk it faithfully till he collected her, right from the shadows. Then be bared, lain upon pristine silk sheets. With a knife, and such tender patience, he would coax each murmur to a moan to a cry where she begged release. Till she cracked his mask with shrillest begging and it would all come down, and he would punish her. Roughly.
A man who set an entire orchestra for that final crash and release.
Twisting and hurling lightning on the daring girl who broke his mask.
Till it became sweet summer rain that was sticky in her hair and flicked with her toes.
Afterwards she would drift away, empty and new, and leave him to his plans.
Till she drifted up a river, where the land grew fat and flies lived on every shirt back. There she was tossed in with the pigs and heifers. From dawn to dusk spent working knots and callouses between her fingers. Singing for Joy and Sun, she would have the young bulls following obediently. Till she would get His approving nod and be slung on a shoulder, bustled onto a straw mattress and have every callous and bone stripped from her panting, joyous face
And she would lie there awhile, drinking in the rugged beauty of work.
Until a dragonfly danced upon her porch.
He sang, and he danced, and offered excitement from the routine. She went, she partied in dresses and often less, flowing with electricity. The night vibrating, her in place. The dragonfly always had another party to wrap his sugar sweet lips around.
Thieves of honey and nectar, they would hush each other at jokes only they knew, then slip around corners. Chasing lights, lights chasing, two hands in the dragonfly’s pockets, ready for the next trick, or for when she is tired enough, and they dash off to his den. Always in a rush to tear off clothes, tear around corners, whirlwind lights.
She danced on and on and into the day, the cool dawn breaking the spell.
She twirled, and spotted him in the horizon, knee astride his sail ship, telescope in hand.
They toasted “here, then here!”
New to try, new taste, nothing too strange to wear or say.
Bent over bow, tongue hanging onto new air. She would travel the world behind his easy tryanst. “I can” was the battle cry, and they surged on and on.
Each night they would take the pleasures back on board with them, and they would practice what they learned, serious enough to give a good show, loose enough that the journey never crumbled. Free as a bird until she stretched out onto the sand, and he caught the tide.
When she woke, it was in her favourite place, where all her stories flow from, but none of them begin. The fire banked high with furious red and lighter yellows. Fires who dance, slip and spin on logs that burn for days without end. Smoke billows into the shifting canvas of stars and sky, patterns lurking inside if you just reach for them.
And from these the storyteller picks and chooses, weaves a tapestry in the air. She hops in and he earns his craft. Freedom to be, not freedom to be still. Another! Another! She patiently asks, reduced to child once more. Tears, smiles, and unabashed. The teller stalks the fire, herds the smoke, and harvests edge after edge. From his many faces she cannot tell if he is twice her age, or half. Leaving her grasping at straws in one moment and then turning the tables, consistency the antithesis to a chaotic mind. Devilish smart, and Impish natured, he would let her think she had him, then sweep his hands and be gone like smoke.
The fire cooler, but not gone, she traced embers in the air.
Her own script, written not for enjoyment, but for living. Written of all that she was, her name no longer in rote. She stepped into her own dream weave and willed it to be.
Swirls shifted into the shadow of a door.
A faint light peaking around wood that became firm as she reached out. Pressing against the weights, the archway opened and blinded her.
She focused on the cobblestones, shifting her eyes up the street to avoid the glare. Scintillating rainbow reflections gripped her ever astounded attention as she caught the art and majesty of the lane.
She basked in the glow, letting pinks and greens float over her skin, all the while unable to stare up at the peak of the hill.
Curious, she walked, and with her eyes averted she would see hurriedly hidden faces. Shadows ducked around corners, just too quick for her to see.
A masquerade, she felt, and so she unbuttoned her blouse and stood. Where all others hide, she would be naked and unafraid.
Resolute, she walked, and while she stared down her prize, every other eye remained fixed on her form.
A chair, at the peak of the hill, woven of molten gemstone. Luxurious velvet so expansive it overflew the bounds of the hall and into corridors beyond. And in front, a stone basin, filled with earth.
As she passed, she dusted the loam, feeling its richness and yearning for seed to root.
She stood poised, crusting her arms in the earth, weaving shapes she felt rather than saw. And she gave herself.
All the pieces.
And all the passions, loves, innocence, guilt, Ecstasy and stillness dove into the earth. Returned to where it belonged. She had kept a company of men, and a company had kept her.
But then, a queen must return to her throne.
And a queen doesn’t sit on her throne,