The hallway is wide, wide enough to accommodate thousands over a lifetime or maybe just a few hundred at once, and there’s nowhere to sit because it’s not a sitting place, it’s more of a dancing place, a hold me forever in your arms while we make out in this corner kind of place.
And I’m standing in one corner, watching all the loves of my life interact and intermingle. I’m watching their shadows and my shadow and the play of the light on the ceiling. I see the many heavy doors with their antique knobs, having been held and turned by centuries of hands young and old.
Some creak when they open, some click when they shut, and others are utterly silent. Like me in my corner. In bare feet I pad among the rich warm threads of the woolen rug, its pattern created in a dream just for this occasion. Which is what? I have to wonder.
There is a door marked you.
It is heavier than anything I’ve ever known, it is dark and real and thick, its knob a polished brass worn smooth with so many comings and goings.
One minute it seems this is THE DOOR. The only one that matters. I try with all that I am to open it, throwing all 109 pounds of me into it. My shoulder is bruised by the effort.
One minute I notice a window I could fly out of.
And then I notice some other door leading to I don’t know what, a place where my love is treasured, a precious metal not to be discarded or shipped off to the Salvation Army like some cheap necklace picked up from a street vendor. A place where my emerging crow’s feet add character, where the odd timbre of my voice sounds like glass bells ringing in the morning, where I am worshiped the way we all deserve to be worshiped for walking this earth, for living our imperfect lives, where my body is an instrument someone can’t hear enough of. Where my love is a delicate, fluttering thing, worthy of appreciation in its beauty and seeming fragility.
My heart becomes a series of hallways, leading to more hallways, fireplaces, dungeons, meadows. There is a big scaly beast, a dragon who guards them all, tries to keep me safe from the likes of you. But if you approach her with nothing but earnest goodwill in your heart and a poem on your lips, she might let you pass. She might keep one door open for you.