Robert Sarkozi CC
Canticle of a Mooring Collaboration
This house has held me within its walls; the vault of its gabled roof beckons my ambitions to breathe. The “unknown flowers,” known to me, emerge here without expectation. Though unnoticed, their beauty is undiminished. The sound of gravel ground beneath my scuffed leather soles is a simple song of liberation. Cement stairs adorned with ash are a refuge for my drifting soul, a momentary respite from perpetual disorientation. An empty bottle and white silk flag stand guard outside the window, a signpost to surrender. My knuckles rap gently against the door. Waiting, I anticipate the warmth of a maternal love. As the door swings open, a swell of comfort washes over me – safely stowed in a home that has never been mine.
I tuck myself into the crevice of a plaid loveseat, cradled by lines of burgundy and pine. A menagerie of abandoned treasures sits atop the coffee table. A stack of napkins from a take-out order, a small glass pipe, unopened mail, a roll of gaff tape, and half-consumed glass of yesterday’s water comprise today’s assortment. The thin curtain rods twist at unusual angles, and the drapes do little to address the sun. A tapestry hangs on the adjacent wall concealing pockmarks from unencumbered artistic expression.
I know this room and the yellow vase they never wanted, the long beige couch with the cinderblock for a makeshift leg, and the rotating collection of lights and film equipment that congregate in the corner. These four white walls are a fortress that defend my spirit from the vultures that pluck me away from myself.
Once he’s shut the door, he groggily enters in his all-terrain shoes. His hair is askew and his eyelids heavy, still waking from an afternoon of dysregulated slumber.
This man has held me within this house with little more than the balm of his words. He is understanding. Encouragement flows from his lilting voice. He pulls laughter from my wreckage. Our sauntering conversation soothes; the weight of external demands dissipates. We are constructing characters, birthing worlds, and in our building, I heal.
There is a patience in the way he speaks, compassion in his questioning. My work is better in his hands, and I am better for it. Creation for him seems effortless, conjuring and articulating with precision. Pouring over scholarly journals, we search for direction, pursuing accuracy. Occasionally the current of internet persuasion drags us deep into the realm of the superfluous. We emerge with knowledge we’ll never need - the journey into the unnecessary leaving me refreshed.
He takes my will nots and makes them won’ts, my cannots and makes them can’ts. Clumsy dialogue becomes vernacular, the plot holes filled, our story enriched. At times I wish he could fix me too, but I am learning to stand in my brokenness.
For months I’ve carried fragmented shards of self through this doorway, our hours spent pouring over words, searching for the path that takes us to the end. As golden hour descends, the porch ablaze with radiance, we finally find our way. This piece is inextricably ours. I can no longer decipher which contributions are mine and which are his. We have unearthed our denouement - an offering forged in the security of his care. A pinch of pride rests in my palm, consumed by a sea of sorrow. Cowriting this story has unalterably changed mine. Briefly, I rest in the solace of this holy cluttered sanctuary, calmed by his tender intelligence.
The sound of gravel beneath my scuffed leather soles is a mournful dirge. I’m never ready to leave. Her sturdy white pillars tinged pink with sunset frame him as he lights a cigarette. I am strengthened by their nourishing. I want this image of him standing, sheltered by her lofty beams, stored in my mind’s repository - a lodestar to combat my aimlessness. Perhaps this ache of loss is preemptive, and we straddle the empty space between two chapters. But when our narrative is complete, my heart will shatter in gratitude.
Christina Ray Henry is a Midwestern mother who loves elephant nose shrew, croissants, and the decision paralysis that comes with ethical decision making.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.