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’.


54 thoughts on “THE PRISONER

  1. What a mixture of beauty and sorrow! And yet I wonder who else can be present. He’s alone insofar as he knows, yet perhaps, perhaps, another soul is nearby, one just as derailed internally as he. A bittersweet traverse through memory and perseverance. xxxx -The New Fool

    1. Good to hear from you. I took to the missing list following a freak fall ‘eye first’ on to a stone floor in France and it’s taken a while to see straight ever since. The silly thing was that I was relatively sober at the time. I trust all is well with you.

      1. Thanks. I’ve made peace with mine since I have a retina problem. The most that my eye specialist can do is to remove the cataract. Thankfully my right eye works well and is behaving itself. I’m thankful for life and grateful for all my Blessings. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

      2. I’m so sorry to hear that…we can’t even trade eyes to make one good set, for my damaged one is on the left also. Such is life, the rest of me works…clunck, crash, bang, dull thod…we’ll it did! Happy Christmas

      3. Lol! Rather than thinking about what I lost I learned to accept adapt myself accordingly because it is not coming back. I focus on what is not the past. I believe someone once said that the past is another country. Anyway I’m looking forward to 2019.

    1. Absolument. Darkness is indeed blinding. If it has but one virtue it is that it sparks the creative more than light can. In all other respects ’tis a nuisance. Regardless, we carry on. Do have the most fabulous Christmas in the light.

  2. So nice to see your face & name pop up again at my site. I’ve missed you! Nearly as much as I miss Paul Lenzi’s posts which appeared daily. I still look for them every day! I hope you’re well and that the New Year brings you energy, imagination, and love!

    1. The loss of Paul was difficult. I have a number of his books and still find myself engrossed in his work more than just time to time. I truly believe his sublime poetry, in years to come will ensure his name sits with the great’s of yore. That he and I found common ground notwithstanding that in terms of politics and theology we were polar opposites, living proof in cameo that the world can get along. Have a wonderful New Year, Peter & family

  3. Oh, and I meant to say, I really liked your piece THE PRISONER . . . “to annul reality is to survive” – what a fine epigram to the past year!

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