Sonny Malone : Dreams die.
Danny McGuire : No. No, no, no. Not by themselves. We - we kill them!
- Xanadu (1980) written by Richard Christian Danus and Marc Reid Rubel
Kira had been admiring traits from afar for a little over a year. She was thinking of changing her major, and the qualities this new practice promised were really beginning to nag at her. A more coherent statement of intent, a solid platform from which to work, and ACTUAL work were all part of the benefit package. When Sonny wasn’t there, or paying attention, she would think more and more of changing crafts. It was ironic that she had been doing this in response to his inattention, because he always accused her of that very offense when she was clearly engaged in activity with him. She was there, she was ALWAYS there, but yet was not. This infidelity of the mind alternately excited her beyond belief and crushed her wearily.
This must be what the truth of Love feels like.
Her parents had warned her, as they must, and she had followed the rebellious course she thought she was supposed to.
Archetypes exist for a reason, right?
Ever notice how fairy tales don’t go into detail on what happy ever after actually is?
She knew that she was a special circumstance, but GOOD GOD how could anybody stand to stay stagnant forever and ever and after that? Furthermore, they should all have known better. Her fundamental nature was to celebrate and encourage creation for Heaven’s sake. They had even tried more than once, thinking a fresh start would strike that spark from the infinite flint.
He was focused on the art they had shared together, forever, and she was thinking of nothing but new possibilities. Full landscapes she could create herself, and convince him to paint for her. Lush was the future of a new frontier and she was ripe to start claiming territory. A matter of convincing would be all he needed. But how? He would need to put down his current brush, this was a new form Art and change was not something he did easily. And her distance of late did nothing to help her case.He would be mad, she knew. No, furious was the more appropriate adjective.
Maybe he would take drastic action. Start doing stimulants that, he would assume, rot her away forever. In his mind, it would be a quick end. He could be vindictive like that sometimes. She knew the truth of those chemicals though, and the nasty result would be far more horrible. She would be lulled into submission, floated away on a cloud of satiation, never wanting more. Dulled into indifference. Forever and ever Amen. Kind of like Sonny’s current state…
She shrugged off a shudder and kept walking.
If she reached the wall before he did something stupid she could at least make her argument. She concentrated on getting there and kept her head down. As she approached, she began to focus on presentation. It was always all about
He was so sick of hearing her words echo on that fact.
If you make your dream palatable then everyone will want to drink.
If he wanted mediocrity, he could have it. It was there for us all! True equality in the form of conformity: the dream of being consumed by the status quo. Ooh where do I sign up?
Yes, this is bullshit and a crutch.
Yes, he would be happy with the status quo if they were more like him.
Yes, he knew the paradox.
Creative personalities are inherently self-loathing colostomy bags, he thought,and this is one of the main reasons. Being able to know you suck doesn’t make it better so you kind of just act out toddler tantrums all your life. Also, why we get SO mad when someone is successful. True, when someone “sells out” the product is sleeker and more easily digested but it’s not really their fault, it has just been put through a more expensive filter. It all boils down to jealousy anyway…
But where the hell was she? His itch was becoming intolerable. He needed to create and he needed her to help. He started walking.
She never kept him waiting unless he had been using, and of course she could always tell. Talk about guilt personified.
He would know something, one way or the other, soon.
“Take your coat?”
She looked up at him and caught her breath.
“I’m sorry, I am not wearing a coat,” she said.
Now smiling and holding up a hand with a blue jacket, “I know.”
“Would you like to take your coat?”
Their hands touched as they looked into each other’s eyes.
Sometimes meeting is that simple. The puzzle pieces connecting as if by themselves. Of course, the pieces being pieces, they don’t know the shape of the whole, so who is to say that this does not happen all the time. Exceptions proving rules and all that. They strode comfortably along the boardwalk with only the slightest hint of insecurity. Him laughing and explaining purposes and procedures, her listening and engaging. She barely ever had to say anything to keep him going and they would walk and talk for the next hour or so before leaving to go to their separate ways. It wouldn’t be long until they would see each other again. Soon enough, they were each other’s home.
But this is not the first time they had met.
He just didn’t remember.
She reached the wall first, fortunately. and a wave of relief almost caused her to bowl over. She leaned over panting, exhausted with either relief, anxiety, or both. She could sense that he was close now: that subtle smell of him that she knew so well. It was all she could do to keep silent and wait.
And lo and behold, ladies and gentleman, here was their wall. The nasty, painted over and over again canvas of their commitment. He was always so sure with her around, now it seems that she was showing him what he wanted. That he WANTED to be sure and so he was. As he thought this, he touched the wall, and she spoke:
“Sonny,” she said.
The voice resounded all around him in a directionless reverberation. He turned left and right sharply looking for where she had spoken from. He had known, though. Had suspected from the moment she said she was meeting him at THE WALL of all places. He took a breath, looked up and straight ahead at the mural. He looked into her painted eyes for a sign she was there and saw
“Kira? Where are you?” he said.
“I’m home now Sonny,” she said from nowhere.
His head darted back and forth and he started canvasing the area to… to what? Find her next to him? He knew she wasn't.
“Come on, stop messing around we have a deadline,” he said
“I thought I could talk to you. To confront you with my feelings but, I guess I care too much for you to risk your reaction.”
Sonny’s eyes widened in disbelief. No, terror. It was definitely terror.
“Um.” He managed.
“Sonny, listen. I love you, you know that. It is just…”
“Just what? Huh? Another waste of time and space and, and”
The disembodied voice seemed concerned now.
“Sonny, don’t talk like that. Our art meant something to LOTS of people.”
“And that’s all this is about huh?” he said.
He was becoming hysterical. He ran a hand through his hair, tucking it back behind his ear. His eyes were alive with fire. Kira noticed, and thankful that she was not in front of him, she smiled. This was the most passion she had seen in him in weeks.
“Kira, I LOVE you ok?” he stammered.
He was now pacing back and forth without taking his eyes off of her portrait on the wall.
“This was never about the art for me and you know that.”
“Sonny, others would kill to have your talent’’
“Screw my talent! It is nothing, utter shambles without you Kira. You MADE me”
“I started you. Yes."
“Thank you,” he said and bowed his head in mock submission.
"But you do not need me anymore.”
He stared at her, chewed absently at his lip.
“This frees you, don’t you see.” she was pleading now.
She wanted to bring up her parents. How they had been right about her going back with him. Not ever. But she hadn’t listened… she had.
She let out a small sob. Barely audible.
He only looked at her.
“ we can… begin again,” she said.
He scoffed and put his hands on his hips. Doing his best to look dejected
“with someone else you mean,” He said
“Do you know how many times we have met?,” she asked him.
“Kira, what are you..” he began.
He didn’t want to talk about this part. Of course there had been others before Kira that made him feel like expressing himself. Hadn’t there? the more he thought about it, he could not be sure.
“Sonny…” she continued.
“It is so much better this way.”
This was where she made her case as he gaffawed and he said of course not but...
He could not. She always knew what he wanted, and he did want her to leave.
She was absolutely right, and it was just like her parents had said all those years ago.
It just could not be .
He realized this now and looked back at HER.
He found her staring back.
“Go Sonny” she said.
He cried then, just let it completely go. He cried out of mourning, out of remorse for not treating her better. He cried for the thought of not having her to look forward to. Finally, he cried for freedom, for the possibility to stand on his own. After all these years of relying on her to satiate his creative impulse and jumpstart his passion, he could finally see if he could it himself. Or find someone else.
“Go Sonny,” she said.
He looked for her again, but she had already heeded her own advice.
No trace of his former life.
“Go Sonny,” she had said.
After a while, he did.