The little green pills that tasted dreadfully bitter numbed her senses, invalidated her inhibitions, nullified tomorrows ‘it wasn’t me’ traumas.
At least a would-be Eve in a dressing gown no longer had to cloak herself in The Devil’s thorny barbed coronet, yet abject boredom was the price she paid. Besides she liked disguises. Certainly, she would trade her dressing gown for a pair of Ray-Bans to hide behind at the drop of a hat. Whereas unchained liberty once was firmly held in her custody, now her life was one of servitude to the banality of routine and a witchdoctor’s instructions sold to her as sterling suggestions. A bondage of sorts. The worst kind.
It was not as if it was an embroidered linen dressing gown. A sweat inducing stinky manmade dull polyester, no less! Perish the thought of being seen dead in it.
Fancying fresh air over the stink of iodoform, she took herself to the ample grounds of neo-Bedlam where the brawny sentinels lived. That she would wish for a sharp stick to blind their ever-preying eyes, a given.
Too much ho-hum lawn, too few trees save for a boundary line (oh what she would give for a ‘line’) of hopeless poplars no barefoot, bare bum human had a hope of climbing, no inadequate David statues, obviously no deep, dark-water lake or the sweet promise of abandoned rickety gallows.
“Would you care to share my umbrella?” so said the painfully gaunt yet unusually lofty man with an umbrella who had appeared seemingly from thin air. “You can if you wish.”
“The sun has sensibly donned greyest clouds and there are no signs of impending precipitation, so frankly my answer is ‘no’.”
Towering above her shortness, still holding the opened umbrella he walked at her side, albeit with difficulty mirrored her step for step as she ambled aimlessly this way and that. It was proving irksome.
“I was told to look out for you in case you harm yourself.”
“Your very presence is harming me. You’re giving me a headache just being here. Anyway, why the umbrella? It’s pointless on a day like today.”
“It might rain. It does sometimes and I have to be at the ready to protect you from the elements. That’s all. I bet you never knew it’s a magic umbrella?”
Clearly this was a thing she could not be expected to have knowledge of yet nosiness got the better of her. “What sort of magic?”
“Upside down it turns any sad or for that matter, happy tears that it catches into real diamonds and also, it makes wildest dreams come true if you’re holding it when it fails to invert on windy days.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Why not meet me here next time the wind blows or tears are on the way. You’ll see I’m telling the truth. My name is Aeolus by the way. What’s yours?”
A becalmed late summer ignorant of illusions, and not being one prone to blubbering, she had to wait until after the autumn equinox for the Atlantic depressions strong gales to announce their arrival. The view through her window of unimportance was sublime. A whirlwind of golden leaves, lightweight frogs and empty crisp packets played together within the spiralling vortex outside. Then a tapping upon the window of unimportance. Inevitably it was Aeolus with his now astonishingly stable umbrella. Devoid of double-glazing she could just about fathom his suggestion that, “Not Telling, your time is now. Join me outside. Hurry.” She had never been called ‘Not Telling’ previous. She rather liked it.
Both clasping as best they could the handle of the magic umbrella they were drawn into the snake swirl, eventually finding themselves on a balcony of vanilla ice-cream cloud overlooking the island that is Ithaca set sweet in the blue Ionian Sea where the jammy pair were to make their maison de rêve.
“What a wonderful dream you had Not Telling. That’s not your real name is it? Pray tell.”
“If I must. I am known as Cyane, although I presume you know that already.”
Aeolus merely smiled. All was well in her world at last.