A Silent Revelation

Jesse Mattson

© Copyright 2004 by Jesse Mattson


Photo of the lights of a city at night under angry dark clouds.  (c)  2003 by Richard Loller.
Photo (c)  2003 by Richard Loller.

The piercing smell of old urine rose with the heavy accumulation of hot steams pouring into the overcrowded and under-lit New York subway car. Large oversized rats pranced through the dark and derelict tunnels of the long, underground tubes in search of tiny morsel and fine mate. Billy sat, white Oakley sunglasses covering his eyes and big Sony headphones protecting his ears, drowning out the wonderful sounds of the metallic wheel’s high pitch screams grinding over stiff cold rails. Freelance writing had overcome his meaningless life, humbled by the reality of the real world. This time he searched for some fantastic, magical plot to seize his attention grabbing hold of any creative unused atom in his imagination to bloom and flourish like vast fields of marigolds on the first summer day. He was having a miserable time forming his new risqué story. The imagery, the smells, the sounds, they were not molding together for him as they did many times in prior stories. He looked around the overstuffed subway car for anything to jump out at him, for anything to invite his noble creativity on cold walks in nights of clear white stars filling the sky and full moons where dogs howl just to her their own bark and spiders slowly spin intricate webs collecting condensation to show them off in the morning. Billy saw nothing. He did notice however an old man sitting in the seat across from him. The old man had a full white beard like Santa. He wore a stained white colored polo shirt and dirty blue khakis. Billy had seen him on the subway quite a few times whenever he traveled uptown. The old man was the sort of person your emotions wished to know, the sort that looked as if had some deep inner secret to tell the world, but my better judgment warned me to stay away. It seemed the old man slept in eternity, slept and dreamt of beautiful stories and wonderful memories correcting all the wrongs of a lifetime in moments of a second. Billy paid no attention to the old man though for he was focused on his objective.

Numerous people slid in and out of the swollen car at every stop rushing as if death awaited their late arrival. Then a beautiful woman gracefully glided past him in slow motion, reminding Billy of the movies. In an instance, his warm nose picked up her sweet perfume engulfing his flared nostrils between inhale number five and exhale number six. Billy’s watered-down brain became concentrated on the familiar smell. Memories struck his brain again and again like huge bolts of lightning cracking overwhelming oaks in half. He remembered the path this smell would lead him to; it was a path of constant vulnerability, a path where the peaks of emotional sadness and eternal happiness interwove themselves like strips of DNA until you couldn’t recognize either. It was this path his stupidly creative brain would force him to painfully walk at least one last time. Billy closed his eyes and saw her.


He carefully walked down the icy path to her awaiting upstairs dorm room. It was a long path from his dull dormitory he regularly walked three or four times a day. The brisk night air was dry, allowing earth-walkers to see the beautiful white stars. He rushed to her room; prep-school rules never admitted coed visiting after hours. Searching the ground, he picked up a fallen pinecone; the tips split and shaded white with dried crusted sap. The weightless cone flew through the weightless air, smacking her window with a loud thud. Her figure appeared in the well lit lookout, making him strangely feel like the main character in the book he was reading for senior English class. They met halfway up the singing stairs with a passionate kiss, she jumped on his back and he carried her up the rest of way while she poked and snuggled into his neck with wonderful annoyance. They arrived at her small neatly-kept room and he immediately filled his arms with her athletic white pajama-ed body. The moment played out in slow motion, frozen by benign beauty like an honest self portrait. The soft warm bedroom spattered with sprays of delicate fragrance brought an array of fresh essence and awakening vitality to the lovely atmosphere. Again, he kissed her full fragile lips and could taste the slippery, strawberry chapstick that was applied not two minutes before he’d arrived. Gentle music whispered breathless poetry in the dark background, luring intense emotion into an elegant ballroom dance. Billy opened his eyes for it was too painful to think about.


He looked over at the old man who was now starring at him. It startled Billy; he had never seen the old man awake. Then Billy realized; white cataracts filled the old man’s eyes; he was blind. The woman sat next to him, her perfume still torturing his mind to no end. Her dark tan skin reminded him of somebody, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Inertia pulled his body forward and then back again. Billy’s heart ached for his Love. Hot steam from the underbelly of the car brushed past his neck arousing the small hairs on the back of his neck. Memories sent chills down his perfectly chiseled muscles. He closed his eyes and felt her.


Divine nothings rolled off her tongue, traveling up his bumpy esophagus, dividing at his newly shaven chin and slowly seeped into his pointy ears causing the small hairs on the back of his neck to stand in attendance. She kissed his curved stomach and then kissed his curved chest. Love’s luscious laughter sang like sirens in the enchanted air, giggling, waiting for the perfect moment to capture the wild hearts of the two thorough- breads. Billy’s face next to hers, they slowly breathed into each others mouths; he lightly nibbled on her thick bottom lip, chapstick whipped away. She held him so tightly knowing his faults and insecurities, loving them as her own. Their naked bodies familiar to each, they lied, exhausted, sweat furiously searching to fill any gaps between them. Billy looked into her eyes, their souls meeting in an unknown world where everything stood still and their love looked lightly lit but uncovered with a slight smile of similarity. Billy could see her then she disappeared and his breathe seemed meaningless to breath.


The old man was looking at him again; Billy was embarrassed and wiped the tear away. Billy then figured that he would use the old man for his new story, swerving detail and delights around him to create a deserving tale. The woman would play the other main character. She created in him this story and so she deserved to be scratched into eternity. He looked at the woman one more time. As he turned away she said, “William?” He turned quickly. “Oh my god, it that you William?” It was his lover. Feelings surging through his body, he stood up and held onto her, she holding onto him, wiping the years away in an instance.


Then Billy woke up in his small New York City loft. This reoccurring dream had haunted him, once again taunting his sleep. It was so real he thought to himself; this dream always was. He got up and realized he needed to travel uptown again taking in the sounds and smells of the city to create his new story; he had been doing it for many years traveling uptown. As he walked out the door he grabbed his long white pole with the red tape at the end to help him see what he couldn’t; Billy always had trouble when it came to walking down the stairs. He threw on his white Oakley sunglasses so nobody could tell he was blind; he could tell his face was aging with the doctor’s warning of cataracts. Walking down the stairs he remembered his last time with her.


They lied on her small twin bed in her small room; she slept while he watched over her. She dazed in and out of consciousness only to assure that he was still holding tightly. A slow inhale of her perfume was enough to stir the emotion inside of him. They fit as the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle. In that instant he wished eternity his father and love his mother. The clock blinked 3:30 A.M. She wrapped her body around him as if he were the most important pillow in the world. He needed her and she needed him. Even jealousy slept quiet that night as the two lovers gripped one another. Their lives were changing though and Billy knew things would never be the same. She would go right and he, left. A single tear crept down his face for he loved her as the sun rose and set. He kissed her forehead as he always did when she finally found dreams; he could always tell. He knew it was time to go; hoping that one day they would find their small twin bed again. The door opened to his hand carefully not disturbing the serenity of the moment. He took one last breathe of her smell to carry with him forever and quietly whispered, “Goodnight, my sweetheart.” The door closed.

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