Please, hold my hand…hold me until I am back because I awoke and I was a pirate,
no worse, I was myself only grown and the gentle music of Peter Pan was only the credits rolling by the television beyond my feet and the leather chair and the pillow at my back, sewn from a soldiers woolen blanket with three stripes like I remember as a boy, where I was asleep only I heard my wife ushering the kids upstairs to bed,
and then I closed my eyes and drifted back to myself, back and away, weightless and afraid that I might awake again.
Meet me there past the second star and to the right, or was it left? Oh no…
“Dada is awake but asleep too…”
My little one lost the bone for the sick little dog from the Barbie Animal Doctor set from her animal birthday party and the echoes of their voices ran up and down the stair until her big brother with my name, and my father’s name and his uncle’s name before him, my grandmother’s brother, bless her, from the war, he found it hiding under the couch with the light from his iPhone.
“I’m not tired,” he said.
“…just go to bed with a book or find a story and you will know when you are…”
Did I say that?
In that moment before I was he, I mean myself, I mean I am him of course. I am sorry, but I am no more a pirate my love than you are Red Handed Jill with my sword at the base of your throat in that hollow that has no particular name…not the hollow in the tree, the one where your whispers fall silent when you find my kiss, that place has no name Almay said, not for a woman. Am I? A pirate?
The gentle voices grow quiet. The fish tank bubbles and the noise of warm air fills the vents and empty spaces until it fades into 23 degrees Celsius and my feet are still cool but not so much to move from this place.
The gold fish watches, he is grown too big for his tank without noticing the years pass or the plants vanish and the ancient plastic stone archway removed to make room for his new found grandeur. He has the most lovely satin tail like an English gown at a ball, once upon a time when the window was open in the second bedroom on the second floor at the end of the hall where your mother sat and waited for your return. Please tell her I am sorry.
Slim British suits and skinny shoes and airplanes and the steak house off 56th and Lexington and those skinny New York hotel rooms, like the bright lights and the regret of wearing a beard grown grey and yet another voyage without crossing the Brooklyn bridge, distract and avoid until the clocks tick tomorrow again and I am too tired to recall the waking or recognize the dawn of tall ships with black flags
and ‘the voices of singing women on the far shore’, muses and mermaids, friends and enemies, boys and men…’and they are saying forget the night, live with us in forests of azure. Meager food for souls forgot.’
I am he my love. I am, Peter Pan. Hold me.