Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19

Prompt: the light bulb moment

Title: No One Is Wearing a Costume

Before our first kiss, he confessed he "had a diagnosis."
No wonder he was single. He was cute,
but the mental condition had kept him out of circulation.
Still, he took his meds and was ever so gentle: a librarian.
"The doctor said it was a good career, for someone like me, or me."
He had his quirks, but who didn't?
Who was to say a crazy guy wasn't perfect for me?
I had done worse. A few times already.
True, he insisted there was no such word as "apparel"
but I didn't need to use it much.

We drove down from the country to Manhattan,
one pleasant October day. The usual city parade
was more garish than I remembered: a pirate passed us,
and a whore, who wasn't really a real whore,
because she had a smile, and she walked
holding hands with a chimney sweep, all covered
in black soot. "I'd forgotten it was Halloween!"
I exclaimed, squeezing his hand.
"Oh, is it? How do you know?"
"Didn't you notice the costumes?"
"No one is wearing a costume."

The pirate, the executive, the whore:
whatever code they used to determine their facades
would never be decoded by him. He'd wear the jeans
and flannel shirts he knew to wear. The circus
could not be distinguished from the cathedral.
I admired that all places should be so holy
and so terrifying. But I knew then, I'd have to leave him.


  1. Fascinating episode. Thanks, Robin. Maybe everyone's apparel is a costume... =)

  2. Robin--This is so vivid. Wonderful portrayal of your aha moment.