Reveries from the Past

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A young man revisits a place from his past, remembering the comforting daydreams he used to have.

Submitted: June 01, 2018

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Submitted: June 01, 2018

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Leaning forward, I watch reflections in the water of the evening light. When I was younger, I would imagine a woman here, sat on the rocks, smiling at me as I sat down next to her. It was a consoling mirage: I would walk this coast, and ever so gently the residue of these fantasies was deposited on the harsh granite rocks.

As a figment of my imagination, I could only reach her through imagery and sensations – like the fabric draped over her form, the meek reflections of light on her skin, or the feeling of being understood by someone. I could never convincingly imagine her voice, so she never said anything. But it really was the softest of absences, and I would lose myself in its tranquility.

There were times when instead a man would sit on those rocks. His being, much like hers, was gossamer and thin, never taking on more than the details and meanings I projected. His personality, however, was modeled differently than hers. While she would express in her actions the empathy I so desperately needed, he, on the other hand, showed vulnerability and sensitivity – and it would be me expressing empathy, not someone else.

I’m not sure why, but I took comfort in his comfort, and in showing subtle but decent acts of understanding. If he vented about friends in school, about alienation or wanting to be popular, I would listen intently and say all the right things. Our conversations became rather animated at times, as we debated life or art or anything else that interested us. It’s comical in retrospect: I would spend hours imagining conversations with a person who didn’t exist.

Inevitably, his character could only be drawn from mine, and he had many of the same issues and concerns I had. Yet he was also distinct: I built him out of the finest materials – everything revered and adored.

He was unnaturally handsome – the epitome, in my eyes, of masculinity and sexuality. As with the woman, I reached these facts of his being through images and feelings; in his case, however, I focused less on the visual, and more on how he made me feel. Maybe because of my own sexuality, these features were more important in who he was, and they often melded with his physical characteristics. Indeed, nothing was fixed with him, and his body and presentation would continuously change. Sometimes he was rugged and strong-willed, other times lithe and effeminate. His need for me, however, never changed. Somehow, he was capable of many changes in his self-expression without losing any of what made him beautiful and masculine.

Dusk encroaches, seeping into my reflections like a cold draught in a warm room. It hardly feels right to stay here for any longer.

Gathering my things, I get up and leave.


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