Simplicity

Half an hour’s walk to meet the legend. Not the legend that is me but the real thing.

She should be rich, not…

She is rich.

Goodness knows I’ve poured so much into her bank account. Guess what? she’s never touched any of it.

There are plenty of people who don’t understand money – but that’s due to genetic flaws, low intelligence, mental states: that sort of thing.

Not Marcy: she’s way too clever and together. It’s as if she just doesn’t care. She was always more creative, more intelligent … different. From the very beginning I got the feeling she could see right through me, maybe everyone and everything.

This makes her very beautiful and scary.

Everyone needs a person like Marcy – or Marcail as the media called her. That’s the media who saw her as a guitarist who sometimes sang in the background.

I … me the egotist celebrity – who stole all the attention … am heading into nowhere. I always was.

I’ve walked for twenty minutes. The road petered out to a track which became too much for even my hefty 4×4.

Marcail doesn’t drive, fly or anything. She only walks. She’s been spotted mostly on the west coast but sometimes in the north and east. It’s been eleven years since I even knew where she was.

The legend is sitting curled up in a tight ball on the shingle beach. That I’ve found her is half miracle, half hard work.

It’s pretty unlikely she will want to talk; she never did much. I’ll just sit near her and we’ll communicate in silence.

The problem here is I want something. I can’t buy it from her because…

Oh, this is so tangled, though from her point of view simple. It’s me who will make it complicated. My whole world is going to be wrecked if she lets me. What I want is her simplicity – but look at the cost…

For her there is none. Oh, that’s the point. She cares so much she doesn’t seem to care.

Yes, you’ve all seen the shots of a strong young woman clambering through motorway wreckage.

That’s the person I’m about to meet again. I won’t even mention her heroics or spit at the way some people said her actions were stupid. She saved lives and was terribly scarred as a result. Oh … I cry just thinking about that whole snowbound disaster and my cowardice. Yes, I would be proud to carry such scars. I was there and … she did it all without any thought of self preservation.

In our band she wrote lyrics and poetry. She was the rock from whom we all jumped into our glittering careers. We all took from her and she didn’t care.

I think the best I can hope for from this, possibly last, encounter is for me to give her a brief hug. It will say ‘Thank you’.

Or will it be our last encounter? I have my rucksack full of gear – gear I may slowly learn to leave behind if she will let me stay with her to live wild and away from a complicated world of wealth and false connections, of fame and false connections, of everything and false connections.

you imagine

you recall

you forgot all they told you

and all you believe

this breath

your bruises and skin

all you’ve touched

never touched

everything

and nothing

is me

you

Yes, she wrote that – not me. See? I stole everything: even those lines which nearly everyone in the world can sing nowadays – and she didn’t mind.

I’m close now, shingle crunching under my boots. She stares over her knees, looking at me as if I’m actually important. Do I…? Why the hell am I here?

I sit and try to relax, close my eyes. Relax, let it all leak out as I exhale again and again: the guilt-weight of my life.

I’m beside her. No touch, no hug. I’m not ready for those. This is my terrible moment. Can I actually be like her? It seems too extreme, almost superhuman and unattainable. I’m only me but then she is only … what?

Can I really leave everything behind? I’ll be hated by people who would love to tell me how inconvenient it is to divide all I possess among themselves and their lawyers. There will be fighting, and hollow relationships imploded. Opinions and judgements will flow against me – the mad, the bad, the conveniently absent deserter – as everyone scrabbles for my wealth. But … but that’s the way it always was, come to think of it.

I don’t think I can leave it all though; I’m not special like Marcy.

What is she then? She doesn’t judge, just welcomes, likes and gives. Am I trying to believe her way is unattainable for me? That would be a good excuse not to try. I could return to my life and attempt to be more like her – use her as a guiding star. But no, once back in that morass I’d only be the same and this would all be a vague memory like a dream.

Shingle clacks as Marcy moves, leans on my shoulder, takes my hand. There’s damp grit between our skin. She smells wild and unperfumed.

“Hello, Marcy, I think I’m home at last. I’m all confused.”

She rests her head on mine.

©Gary Bonn, 2021


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