In abandoned captivity, within a wrought iron cage, within a cold Caen limestone walled cell, within a forgotten fortress set in the shadow of the dark side of civilization, sits an innocent occupant, determined by his sniggering contemporaries to be the guilty party, his crime, the stealing of the hearts of a divided nation. He tells lies. To himself. There was, after all, not another living soul to speak with or at insofar as he was aware.
Often, he would latch onto the merest glimpse of the enchanted boulevard where belles dames de la nuit would promenade when off duty, from the single arrowslit that sadly, for him at least, did not exist. For his sins, he lived in permanent darkness, his eyes as functionless as his appendix. On other occasions he would pray that he had a beard, in denial that his beard, one he regularly tripped over, now reached below his ankles. Sometimes he would argue black was white only for his inner self to remind him white was black. The unadorned, uncooked camel’s eyes that an invisible to the naked eye, deaf mute of indeterminant sex or sexual preference stuffed through the bars that confined, he would relish, thanking his feckless God for seeing fit to afford him such delicious sustenance as Royal Beluga Caviar. Was his lying born of loneliness? All things considered, likely it was. Thirty and seven years in blackness has been known to severely scar the purity of one’s train of thought, leaving only imagining’s falsities and tormenting dreams in its cruel wake.
Back in the days of honesty, sunshine, sunglasses, white linen shirts, fresh satin sheets and Jesus sandals there was bewitching Jeannie. In drink he would sing for her. The song always the same for it matched her name, ‘I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair’. That his Jeannie had hair as black as coal mattered not one iota, for she was, all other considerations aside, his solitary sweetheart. Memories of Jeannie the only truth left him.
He sheds a single tear of heartache. Reminds himself that to annul reality is to survive. So he smiles, so what if it is an inane smile? He thinks of his Jeannie one last time…or not.
Jeannie? She never married. To this day she still bleaches and dyes her hair, best she can, ‘light brown’.