When we began to love each other, in my mind, I saw a room. The bedroom of an old farm house; windows open, and soft, pale, green curtains moved lazily about the sills. Light of late afternoon slipped in, whilst a faint, blue summer sky waited outside. The door to the hallway is open; the rest of the house - still. A bed is the only piece furniture in a room with wood floors and white walls. There are only sheets on the bed, old cotton sheets, heavy, limp, and cool. This room was our togetherness. Since he died, I am not in the room, and light in it is cooler. It is evening and no one is home.
I am waiting at the door of the story with peaches in my hands. The door is shut, and the peaches are unripe. None of their warmth and sweetness can be smelled, their fuzz clings to them like tight new skin. When we wait patiently for things to open, we stay with them and be, and they ripen, and the door opens. I wait for the peaches and the door as they wait for me. A story through that door will show me and harm me, it is with peaches I may come through.
I was a small child when my mother told me a story of peaches. When I remember it, I remember the peach tree across from our old house. Short and squat, with shining, skinny leaves; the tree crouched in the rose garden. My mother told me about the peace and bliss of heaven, and that when we went there we became angels. She told me that angels longed for the earth sometimes, and have bodies, because angels cannot taste peaches.
When I taste and smell peaches now, I try to give myself over to them, to live and feel the taste of them, to not take them lightly, to not keep them foreign. The day that he died, I found a nectarine in the kitchen, and carried it with me, praying to it to keep me in the world of life, to remind me that moments of peaches are worth the pain of aliveness.
Every story starts with the breaking off an indefinite number of things that have come before. To try and tell the story of Lucien from the beginning, means I will omit the stories of before, the peripheral stories which came before and bled into his, like color on wet paper.
I suppose there are so many ways of telling a story. Not one will be perfect, but each is a prayer. Can you feel this? Can I make something? Are our lives commensurable? Do my words mean what your words mean? We shall see.
This story, too, is a prayer.
A prayer for a new house, a new tree, and a new beginning.