The Rotten Prince
Human no.2 — Feb 19th, 2015
Metro, red line to my apartment
Is beauty more of a currency or a memory?
I don’t think he’s ever asked that question, but I am. Maybe because he looks like he’s lost both. Although underneath the beanie and the jacket, the sleepy look and the work pants, he is a beautiful man. The wedding ring on his left hand finger shines, more than anything else on him. But the way he looks at the doors of the train sparks somewhat of a light in his tired eyes.
Where are you going, rotten prince?
Home, from a long day at your construction job. It’s been 30 years almost, and you still sometimes wonder why you didn’t pick that other way. You couldn’t, and that’s always been good enough to you. Even with the long hours and the hard work, you managed to stick in a few weekends a year up on the mountains, with your wife and your three kids. The socks you wear aren’t royal, but they tell the story of a noble habit. One of firewood and snow, where the feet get cold first. Your jacket and your beanie and your pants are as monochromatic as most of your days, but those socks are feasting on a weekend night. The blue and the gray and the dark green with hints of brown remind you of the woods you used to love, and of the fact that you really don’t care about buying any other kind. The Timberlands hugging them gently fit you well. Like a pair of cowboy boots under a bride’s gown. They are old, and wise, comfortable the way leather is after it’s put you through pain. You like walking in those shoes.
You are buttoned up, like a prince on a horse heading out on a hunt. But the metro chair isn’t as comfortable and you keep shifting your weight, as if you could feel the ground rumbling, or maybe just your heart. It’s usually quiet, but not even time can tame an abandoned dream. Your hands still play with it, when you snooze and think of how many arrows you shot before your sight went bad. Like love, limping.
Your castle is made of clouds, cheaper than walls yet better for isolation, time slipping by like your youngest through your arms when you tell her of the trees you grew up with. She doesn’t know, but she is a princess. An army of decisions protects her, until the woods will claim their piece of her crown. Fear not, beautiful man in dark clothes. As you watch the seasons perish, your eyes will find the way. Do you not know how many vices you’ve turned into virtue? How many battles you’ve captained armed with silence?
Speak up, warrior. You don’t need this train more than this train needs you. It is life, but life is a tale. The blood that runs through your pretentious veins has a right to surface, lost and blue, like your weary eyes.