A Gentleman of The Night.
It’s been a lifelong aspiration to be a true gentleman. To knowingly breathe in time with the tides, reading a folded newspaper in a beard-stroking repose. To be a modern-day knight, renowned for the constant forecast of clear headedness and perfectly tailored trousers. Elegant, eloquent, stately and sane.
The crossword is finished at dawn with barely a yawn. After an hour of intense, non-prespiratory yoga, soothing green tea is served on the veranda. Cool breezes magically prompt the world’s most appropriate cardigan.
The walk uptown is magnificent in its modest grandeur. Small steps, long strides. A chickadee lands upon the shoulder of a tasteful tweed jacket. Tilted heads and warm regards, mutually recognizing the simple majesty of what it means to be alive. And then off, off into the branches of a Dynasty Lacebark Elm framing the breathtakingly blue horizon.
A dog. A rescue dog. A black, collie-mix rescue with impeccable taste sits patiently below the worn, wooden farm table. His name is Wayne. He’s saved two children from drowning, another from vehicular collision. The toddler bounced like a beach ball, thrust by the dog’s muzzle into the arms of his desperately grateful mother. Tears and a citywide ovation. Banners, placards, joy, Wayne!
Disputes never get ugly. They’re settled by charming bows, sweet-tempered with a wave of the kerchief. Concession and understanding rule the day. Phrases like “My good man” and “I’d be delighted” and “More corn, please” swirl in the leaves of this swooping fall air. Doubt is an obsolete concept, roaming the arctic circle alone. In its place, the soft, simple word “grace.”
Enveloped in the soft, simple word grace.
I want to be a gentleman. But I am weak. I sometimes eat popcorn in bed. I’ve consumed entire sandwiches in one bite. Other times, I’ve followed stray thoughts, of unattainable ambition, of journalistic jealousies, of monetary musts and carnal lust.
I mean, who am I kidding? Shame, fear and the abominable dread of the north, doubt — these are my midnight heroes, my shadow soldiers. They’ve been with me since the beginning. Imaginary companions creeping in the crawl space, groaning and risibly loathsome. Terrors that used to frighten the hell out of me. Clown dreams, lunar moths, the scratchy arms of a cobwebbed pine.
But now, they’re my messy friends. Puppet-like beasts, furry and full of grumbles and pointless jokes. Bewitchingly broken. We are infinite in the shattered glass sea of ourselves. We sit on a stone wall and chuck rotten apples at razzle dazzle cars. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do with rotten apples and fucked up friends. Naturally.
From under the bed all the way up to the star-studded inspiration Nótt’s night sky, these mewls are my lullaby, as the gloaming blankets us all in our beautifully, misshapen glory.