1. The angelic royal (or the royal angel) and his fool are an odd couple. A prince and a man dressed in black motley, they spend much of their time together. Their height, when seen from afar, seems to be identical. Are they twins? Merely brothers, one a bastard, the other acknowledged and his birthright celebrated? Their story is knotty, twisted within the rumor trees which leak sap that sticks to my fingers. I lick it off, one finger at a time. Each one tastes different, and even the bitterest ones, I relish.
2. The mazes they told me about were only a myth. I know there are labyrinths there; there must be. But they’re empty now. The books are gone. They live in a facility, far away. Someone took Bertha out of the attic and put her away in a clean, white space, where she’s being taken care of. She’s fed three meals a day and she gets to watch television and finger-paint. She’s calm now. She doesn’t bite or growl anymore. But she isn’t really alive anymore either. The books are the same, locked in their cages. Their pages are safe, climate-controlled, but their smell is leaking away into the chrome and plastic and silicone. I’m glad that I don’t have to trample them under my dirty, leafy-wet boots, but I miss them. I miss Bertha sometimes, too.
3. I get less migraines, on the whole, but when I do, they are worse. Much worse. I am getting less acquainted with the sense of continual heavy pain. There are still the usual constant headaches, but they are the norm. The migraines, in the weather shift between ice and heat, are like the buffets and blows of a cruelly punching wind. My eyes roll around and I get confused. Stop it, head. Just stop it.
4. To the Owner of My Father’s Black Gloves: I hope you’re enjoying them. If you don’t like them, leave them on a bench somewhere. Maybe I’ll find them.
5. Balancing on a beam is easier when it is made of sunshine. Jumping between raindrops and fog makes me lose my footing. My lucky charms are worth exactly one cappuccino, and my bookshelves are the emptiest they’ve ever been.
6. There is a storefront in Gloucester Green designed as a deliberate tease. It advertises free books in the window. The door, made of glass, has a bold sticker on it, instructing pedestrians to PUSH. But it is always locked. I find myself smeared against that door, every time I walk by, peering in to see if the boxes upon cardboard boxes lined up in a neat rectangle on the floor have moved. They haven’t. Maybe whoever has the key will open up, one day, and will let me take the three books I’m allowed to take. Saving books from landfills is noble work. I think the books will be happier on shelves than in boxes, in a dusty shop, all alone.