There was once a little girl who wandered the city’s streets. The houses towered the alleys with their deep shadow. Every day she woke up on a different door step.
People didn’t see her and they didn’t want to either. She saw a petrified mask on each face that gazed through her and then looked the other way.
Some people gave her food and rags, and then chase her away. Every day she looked for something. Some place different. All the streets looked the same.
One morning, right after she woke up, she saw a lion walking in the street. People fled from its path. The lion didn’t see them.
The little girl had seen stories about lions woven on the quilts sold in the market place. She knew they lived in the desert, far away from the city. The lion didn’t belong here either.
The little girl followed.
Once they passed the city’s outer wall, she saw the desert lay ahead in all of his endlessnes, bright and harsh as the sun. The sand started burning beneath her soles, with each step farther from the haven and hell the city enclosed.
“We made it!” As she turned towards her companion, her smile became a horrified mask. She stood there, not making a sound, for what seemed like a lifetime.
“I promise you I will fly” she whispered as she bowed and kissed the lion’s head, now turned to stone.
She turned to face the unforgiving desert.
I know the beginning and the end of the story. For a long time I waited for the weaving of whats in between. It never happened. And never will. There is nothing there and I don’t wait anymore.
“There are no such people in the world” the little girl whispers.
“It was just a dream”, I comfort her. “There’s nothing wrong with dreaming”.
She doesn’t believe me.
Her dreams can always make me smile. They come at high prices. Her hopes are spears that run deep in my flesh and her fears are tumbstones of things I don’t remember.
Yet she is my greatest love. The child within, who always hopes to find a magic lion, and fears the people wearing their face as a mask.
Though the pages are numbered
I can’t see where they lead
For the end is a mystery no-one can read
In the book of my life
There’s a chapter on fathers, a chapter on sons
There are pages of conflicts that nobody won
And the battles you lost and your bitter defeat,
There’s a page where we failed to meet
There is a page I will never write … about a lion I have never met.
A Note: Lyrics are from Sting’s “The book of my life” amazing song. It created the necessary mood to let this one run out of my head.
The tale never written