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Phase II “Mystery of Love”
Of all the great mysteries of the world, few are quite as mystifying as relationships, particularly those of a romantic inclination. Many of us spend our entire lives searching for the right person and bona fide success stories are regrettably few and far between. It is no small feat finding “the one” and, while we’d love to report that the odds of this happening are stacked in our favor, they ain’t. Take it from greykeeper, we appeared to have been singled out by the gods to walk this earth on our lonesome and had resigned ourselves to doing precisely that before the ultimate in well-meaning SHAZAMS. There had been good relationships as well as bad, but we had both grown up with the belief that true love could exist and, for all our very best intentions at the offset, things had a suspicious tendency of not panning out in the long run. Fortunately, our tale had the very happiest of endings, as we were finally rewarded for our perseverance with a love which transcends its origins effortlessly. But not everyone is quite so lucky.
Perhaps the first mistake we make as a race is to go looking for love in all the wrong places. Take clubs and bars for example – they are generally the go-to meat markets when snagging ourselves a lifer and this couldn’t be a more misguided notion if it paid for the drinks and slipped in a roofie. Whatever possesses us to frequent these petri dishes for STD is anyone’s guess as nights out invariably lead directly to disappointment most crushing, be that striking out or exchanging digits with someone we have nothing whatsoever in common with aside from looking vaguely attractive beneath UV lights and under the influence of a skinful of alcohol. In the history of dishonest pursuits, this one is way up there with Catholic priesthood. Yet we do it in our droves. To be fair, some folk just dig the vibe and we’re not looking to kill any buzzes here. But you don’t need a degree in behavioral psychology to suss out where the majority hang their heads in shame. Skanky little fuckers can’t help themselves.
And who can blame them? After all, society’s ledger states we must hunt our prey in such airless slaughterhouses for romance as this is simply nature’s way. Its design. However, what plays out is a logistical nightmare as it generally entails each mule attempting to box above their weight and that’s just asking for a donkey punch. Call it a hunch but we suspect 99.9% of pick-up artists wind up flashing in subways in later life, where their victims most likely end up sporting irrational fears of backstreet dumpsters. Hardly the most encouraging statistics for any aspiring Lord Byrons and Emily Brontës on the scene, are they? And clubs and bars are breeding grounds for poor conduct and the aforementioned clap. Besides, that stupid cunt Cupid seldom carries ID in his quiver and it’s some trick shot hitting the bullseye through 300 sweaty revelers from the street.
Speaking of fraudulent endeavors, dating on the whole appears to be a dishonorable affair, more often than not. What possesses us to lie through our teeth? Pheromones most likely. As we get so caught up in the excitement of it all that we forget the cardinal rule of finding true love – be ourselves. First dates offer particularly cagey exchanges, with neither party willing to commit to providing a solitary piece of accurate information to each other and any signs of incompatibility are brushed swiftly beneath the rug of mistruth. We pretend to like bands we loathe just because they’re edgy, make ourselves out to be flawless individuals, and hoodwink our unsuspecting victims into buying into our brand of cunning bullshit.
Smelling victory in our flared nostrils, we commence these doomed voyages, blissfully unaware that we are being played the exact same way. Should we not figure out the deception and run to the hills screaming “there’s a shit demon coming”, then we wind up that couple in a restaurant who cannot conjure a single syllable to share that doesn’t entail griping and sniping. Nobody wants to reach that place. Needless to say, both parties are backed-up with bitterness by this point, as 2.5 children fell out in all the kerfuffle and the white picket fence was supposed to be repainted six bleeding months ago. Life may be known to take no prisoners but love is only too willing to slip on the shackles, should we fail to declare anything of accuracy.
Make it to those telling late thirties and early forties with enough horror stories to tell and things are likely to go one of two ways. The optimists among us will continue to press on regardless and refuse to believe that the right person doesn’t exist. The cynics, on the other hand, write off true love as little more than a poorly lit aisle of second-hand emotions way past their display dates. And never the twain shall meet. Gods forbid they do. Enthusiasm fits through a crazy straw you know. And cynics are suckers for sapping the joy from anything resembling fair game. To hand out due props, they may absolutely have their reasons for not placing their trust in another. But this doesn’t make their jaundiced observations any less vaguely depressing. Give up and we’re double done for, headed only for Spinsterville. Seems like precisely the smelling salts required to keep hope alive, if only for tonight.
One night is all it takes, you see. Well, a miniscule fraction of that if greykeeper are any yardstick. We knew in the time it takes a pessimistic pigeon to frown that we were staring directly into the eyes of the one many are too afraid to mention – the great love of our lives. As blind faith would have it, the universe had no other plans on that night than revealing its hand just to break a bad habit. This was no game of chance we were playing. Indeed, we weren’t playing at all. You see, love may have had its shits and grins at our expense and not a solitary cent of its own, but we both gathered from the tenderest of ages that it is no laughing matter. Our parents stuck together like the most barmy of adhesives through times where most would make a dash to sign off those releases. We lived and we learned, hoped and prayed for as long as it took to realize no bastard was listening. Then hit up the universe on the Q-tip and, wouldn’t you know it, SHAZAM.
Twas no fluke this mighty miracle of modern man and machine. Coincidence played no role aside from perhaps setting the scene. But fate had us most soundly covered, had been waiting for a pair of attentive lovers such as we. Every lesson of affection we’d assimilated had been worthy, for be they kindly or harsh, they were a part of our journey. Turning points don’t tend to come along often, which may be why folk tend to approach them with caution. We did no such thing of course as our ventricles were tethered from the very first “they never fail, ever”. Leaps of faith were the topic of discussion but our knees did not knock their hollow percussion. As we know our mindsets well enough and no longer have a reason not to trust them. Had we spent more time in pubs and clubs then, chances are, we’d have packed our shit up way back at EVERYTHING MUST GO. And be selling pink lemonade at fifty cents a cup. But having played our game so patiently, it seemed the ideal time to chase this one elusive dream. See how it concludes.
And then we transmutated into cyborgs with the ability to fire devastating EMP blasts from our shoulder cannons. Nope. Wrong dream. This was some way more rousing. You see, we weren’t required to make a single alteration to our design. No parts to reassign, nothing parted with or silenced, just a pair of love’s young dreamers who prefer plus one to minus. We frittered not a molecule with bitter twisted monologues detailing each of the experiences which led us to be jaded. As we simply were not jaded. You only have to trust one time to roll the dice and it helps when there’s a sixer painted on every last side. No chasing tails unless rainbows count. But, in truth, it was the rainbows in pursuit. Clinging to each teardrop like chewed up gum on a caretaker’s mop, they can’t keep up with something even nature can’t sum up. So they drew their blanks. Pretty ones admittedly. As we were now in a position to commence the recommission.
Existent on a blank sheet of terms and conditions, reminiscent of days when love actually meant something more than small print. We wavered our rights, trusted our guts, and the light which shone was doggone brilliant. Better yet, this new skin was resilient to the customary low blows and elbows. No fears of China Syndrome under such fierce command. Power not a struggle and no need for upper hands, as a love cannot flourish on adrenaline alone. The mind may well spark fuses but the soul it skulks like a loser when not supplied the volts to jolt it into action. Every tear which we had shed had formed a bastion. Every pint of red bled out of us redeployed upon extraction. Blood comes out. Blood goes in. Simple physics really.
Quite clearly not the mystery it claims to be. For living proof of this theory in motion, we suggest you stick around as we’re hopelessly devoted to commotion. Emotionally impervious even in whirling dervish moments , as we put in all the legwork free of quibble. If that sounds like a bit of a drag, then tell those doldrums we called them all slags, as we have a little thing called Zen to fall back on and our crystalline diameters have our backs at all times. Ever attempted to sneak up on your reflection? Ever tried to jump out on two at once. Good luck with that shadows. We shall wear your gowns and play your games but only on our say so. And even love has been known to say no on occasion. Doesn’t care for having its style cramped by muscle men in fat suits, prefers far greater altitude as it rises above the clouds, you see. All of this from a solitary leap. And think of the bar tab you can save.
The internet is a cunning tool. But it’s a stunning tool once you file away rough edges. Never trust a moldy troll as, on the whole they dole out trouble, and find yourself a huddle on the double. Glance enough souls and you may well find the one which fits like silk upon a Lizard’s skin. We did. And the cynics missed a trick or two as they were way too busy desperately seeking Susan. Meanwhile, back at the Citadel… SHAZAM. Ingredients – One top hat curiously similar to the one donned by the Ripper, one soul of rabbit, one lion heart, and perhaps a love potion comprising piss, nails, and period blood for any racy Wiccans. We needed no such elixirs to fall beneath love’s spell as we were the ones who cast the thing and that makes us magicians. For our final trick, and we shall make this quick, we wish to leave you with this parting pearl of wisdom. Find that misplaced faith again, never fail to fan twin flames, and take that one leap which can change the game. Now go change the game.
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of The Crimson Quill
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