iv. A Third Interlude
But Samuel told me a story, of two brothers whose souls were knit together.* And Jonathan loved him as his own soul, he said. Dear Jonathan, the way your David tore his clothes at the news,** remembering when he last saw you, and your last words to him; before he ran for his life, remember? And wept with one another, David weeping the most. Then he said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’*** Samuel finished, sat back in his chair, a bit distant now. How extraordinary, he said, eyes misting over.
*1 Samuel 18:1
** 2 Samuel 1:26
***1 Samuel 20:41-42
A Catalogue of Things Regarded Important
for the Remaining Engagement with φιλια
Chapter I. Sacrament
I speak of this φιλια, that is my sacrament. A pursuit. But maybe I should speak, that my throat is often weary. That there are letters I’ve never sent, unstamped, written in my head. This I know, that I am born, but still I wonder Who am I when I am in my shell and the crust is thick. When what goes on inside of me is not always the same as what I do. This, my confession: utility and pleasure, they seduce me. This surrounded by a shell of lip-licking self absorption, and the crust is thick. My pride negates the iron bar I’ve driven through my neck, compounded by the effort that I constantly regret. My eyes focus nearsighted. Yet with moments of clarity, I beseech my eyes to see. This I know, that I am born, and hope to break my shell. To love my partners in crime, my wolf brothers, my glowing sisters. Mea culpa, dear ones. If you still want to love me, it won’t come without a cost; the fight to be much better is a fight I’ve often lost.*
Mea culpa–“through my fault”
*Showbread, “The Prison Comes Undone”
The Unfolding Present Engagement with φιλια
We band together and they determine to become my new family. My full circle of restoration. Barely acquainted, yet I am surrounded by smiling arms. The wise Owl speaks over us, People are more important than stuff, dammit. Eyes kind, hands so strong. We take a night trip to the lake and bare our bodies to the element. The water stark as trust, but the view of stars matchless, aiming at the heart. He could have sent the blow, the fierce wind to beat against my ramparts; instead, gentle sunlight allowed, and so my tears are shed to the sky. Trust, tell me now that I have engaged your soul. We talk about God. Getting lost together never so reassuring. It seems I am remembered. It seems I am born. When we kayak out onto the lake, the water invites, we speak to one another, and we race back to shore, cabin lights like planets fixed in the trees. Our forest home, we share together, and so I fall asleep next to you, wake up next to you. Single beds, empty rooms a fading lonely memory. We take up learning, becoming holy together with dirt smeared on our faces. Engage συνηθως. We give each other seats at the table, intertwine our nerves, reuniting ourselves when the day is done. Family is not a biological term. We commune, we eat bread and slowly become unveiled. Trust, I tell you, I am scared, I tell you, but I want to be known. Share my gaze, share my aches, share my mirth uninhibited. Our holy hymn, massaging sore wings, breathing in our scents, as we step to each other’s beats. Peace following me to sleep. And when I howl at the moon tonight, you all will join me, and the twilight world will ring with our dissonance and harmony complete.
συνηθως–A word to describe the bond of those who have walked trails together
Chapter V. (cont.)
And near the end, Hector my brother as well. You wolverine Jack Black, dark angel with a wingspan of heavens. We built ourselves on concrete, the fashion of electric guitars. You would tell me with a grin to stay, find a place, and consume, because you are ξενία. Sharing forks, burritos. And you are not afraid, not afraid of love, my brother. We slung broken chairs around on the asphalt, between the trees, and made it our wild night. Consolation for losing your Andromache. And you found me a sweatshirt, walked me home. Our communication, a wild peace, beckoning each other with howls vibrating in our throats. You told me my voice was golden, and I smiled again. My world tends to explode when I see you. Truthfully that is how things are, we take up shields and charge the trees, together wolf brother and wolf sister.
iii. A Second Interlude
Sod this, I said. Sherlock, the machine–Mrs. Hudson had just been shot, why is he so unmanageably bloody frustrating, of course he’s always like this, except he’s more like this than he usually is, which is–wrong. Something’s wrong, and I can’t–I just have to go, he won’t let me in, I just can’t–You stay here, if you want, on your own, I said, turning to leave. Placidly he replies, Alone is what I have, without looking up. Alone protects me. I stared back at him. No. Friends protect people.*
*Stephen Thompson, “The Reichenbach Fall,” Sherlock