Our Lady of Locomotion

Within the pale blue, peeling walls of a hotel room, the word became flesh. For those looking up at the first floor window, where the balustrade had been holding in tears and protestation that, this could not be, light suddenly shone out into the night. ‘This must be’ came the cry, ‘it is, oh, ….’ Such prayers and veneration. ‘Oh, oh, our Lady of Locomotion.’

We believe the cock and the cunt will save us. We believe it because we must. What else can, for one holy moment, let us forget and remember ourselves at the same time. It was my credo, back in the hotel room with its strange smell. Musty I thought, through lack of use. I failed to notice stains, the shape of countries seeped into the carpet; the curtain swinging free of its hooks. I was unaware that such a room has history and most of it made in the dark.

I had confused check in with arrival, weighted bags with leaving. I had stared at the small plastic card placed in my hand: ‘Key, ‘ said the hotel receptionist; ‘To your room. Do you need me to…?’ ‘No’ I said ‘I know’ and walked towards the lift. But I had not known. With eyes closed, we do not see what flows from an unhealed heart. It is a suppurating wound.

Back in that pale blue hotel room, the entangle began. As I stretched out, he hemmed himself in. When he set himself free, I cried and bore it. And then I asked for more to wash away my sorrow. I should have asked for pity, O Lady of Locomotion, to take away the passion. The moonlight flickered its last voltage. I fell asleep with the complication of it all but then awoke to count the hours. This is how it starts, a notation of love and loss, wanting and waiting. There was little to save me from my vigil, except the sun slowly rising. A raspberry coloured blush; a premonition of how, one day, the world would be set on fire. And birds in their abortive beauty sang, unaware this was not paradise.

The light went grey. Pale, unshaven, he had the look of Jesus before he takes the Cross. He did not speak. There were no words, although I knew what they were. They were always the same. Love and not love. You and not you. Not love, not you. A sombre, sobben beat, arrhythmic to the heart. Oh Lady of Locomotion, how could this be? But it was, for the morning is as sacred as the night. This is how it must be was the answer; to the pleas, to the prayer.

We believe the cock and the cunt will save us. From ourselves, from being our self, the last person we want be. Yet salvation like execution can be reprieved. The room was a cavern ticking like the dripping of a thousand stalactites. I can hear the sound of time then. Those hours that belonged to clocks set off a silence. And in that silence I had my vision. What had happened, what could happen and how they had become the same.

Now I bear witness, for after pain comes the writing of pain. But each word will be the last. Each syllable will slowly erase itself once written. I do not write to remember. This is a bridge crossed once. I wear a soul penetrated by the world and have glimpsed a final coming.

Published in ABCtales Magazine in March, 2008