The Impossible Garden
& The Wildforest
ART & STORIES BY MARICHIT GARCIA
I took an early evening walk last night and when I went to bed the insomnia was absent. So I might do another walk tonight and see if that works again.
Since I actually got some sleep I feel more wakeful today. There's a poem waiting to be finished, and a painting waiting to be started. And there's a novel waiting to be infused with shadow, and a poetry book ready to be laid out to be an offering.
There is a little grimoire sighing in the wings, waiting for its cue. I pat it reassuringly, while I gather tools and ingredients, and spin the threads of magic into spools.
Last night I dreamt of — the old house, my childhood home. From one end of the street I could see a raging wall of water rushing towards me. On the other end I could see a raging conflagration. In the house was a crowd of people, mostly strangers, that was expecting to be saved. I was expected to find a way out. I told everyone to stay, except for one indifferent handsome boy, who had always treated me with something akin to antagonism. I told him I knew where we could find his family, but I knew they were gone and swallowed up by the flames. I told the others to stay, that I would clear the way, and that they could follow my trail after fifteen minutes. They believed me. They trusted me.
There was no saving that could be done. I could only save myself because I knew where I could go, the sliver of doorways leading out and away, because the place would only allow me to be saved, everyone else was a sacrifice. I wanted to try to save him, to take him with me, but would he forgive me for lying about his family? For not saving them?
I could not save him. He was not mine. And I could only save my own.
He gripped my hand like a lifeline. Fifteen minutes and this whole world would be consumed by water and fire and only I knew, and only I could get away.
I stopped and he stopped. “Listen.” I said. The roaring of the water was very loud. The sky was a melancholy grey from the fire-smoke. I turned his face towards me and then I kissed him. My return for all his indifference and small cruelties, his sharp pointed dismissals, his unmasked avoidance. I felt something came to him then, a realisation, a recognition, something too late.
I woke up.