Unrelinquished dream? Or lost Love…
Dear Nellie Cat
Did you ever in your life think that daylight would never come? Have you ever danced naked under a starry moonlit sky? Did you once whisper a prayer with your one hand raised high? Do you believe in sea monsters and fiery dragons, did you know that strange beasts live at the end of the world, where only murdering thieves and the incurably insane find their way to die. Did you ever see the meanest pirate fall in love, then wonder why? Or do you think it is me who is secretly unhinged, or suffering the scourge of an unsound mind. Do you believe that I am the one who is senseless, deranged or the most ridiculous man you might find.
Did I ever tell you why I stand shaking, then cry?
Dearest Nellie, my problem is not straightforward. I thought you as my treasured friend might help me understand why. Like you, the sea is my life, though my life at sea has turned horribly foul. It’s not just ship’s cats who suffer the curse of roaming the stormy winds and waves – the sea draws seafaring men like loadstone, the lure of the deep is why we intrepid dreamers dream dreams, dreams way too complex in their meaning. My dream is hard to write down to you Nellie – I dreamed of grandiose things though my plans were wild madcap schemes that for a time promised the holy grail but never delivered the proverbial castle in the sky. The mud, the dirt of the real world slowly reclaimed me to smother me like that dog stranded in quagmire quicksand.
My life with the beautiful woman I love is broken. That is it, I have said it in the shortest sentence possible to construct, the simplest way I can think of. Trying to describe to you our time together would fly over the heads of those who have only loved a simple love, those who have never experienced the intensity of being two a longtime alone. The loneliness of long-distance sailors, the joy of pure love in a world of emptiness in the big wide ocean, the intense togetherness – then that old kick in the teeth when you know it will not last, that she is going to leave you. Every night in my dreams I still devour her glorious body, I lose my head in her soft-white breasts, I dream dreams of her womanly flesh that for a time encapsulated me in ways you cannot imagine Nellie. But those greyhead greybeards, they all the time warned me how sea-dreams end when the new dawn rises – though I know you already know this Nellie Cat. I last saw you prowling like the mystical lynx, when you sold your soul to the dirtiest black sky, when the stormiest dawn showed its deadliest above the cruelest sea. That was that night we nearly died, when the lightening storm struck and the sea engulfed us in ways we thought we might not survive.
In my daytime dream she is forever by my side, in my nighttime dream we kiss and make love, when she makes promises we both know she cannot keep. We tell empty lies, we talk of things said to make us smile, we laugh together in that same old way, that magical way that made us fall in love. But when the sun rises high in the noonsight sky I find I am alone, she is not there. The wrinkled sheets beside me are empty, her pure-white pillow, its fluffy fullness, shows me not for a while was she there, not for a longtime was she sleeping quietly by my side.
But when the sundown sets Nellie Cat, I close my eyes to dream the saddest dream. When she reaches out to hold my hand and kiss my lips, when she tells me things I need to know, when she laughs with her laughing hazel eyes, when she whispers her sweetest love and those hurtful words I’m desperate to hear. When she flicks her hair… when she does those beautiful sensual things that only she dare.
You don’t fool me, I know who you are. You know I’m not a real cat. I was always a figment of your imagination. I’ve been creatively created, manufactured in a way to make you believe I can resolve your problem in my own inimitable style, ways that would never make sense to any real cat. There is a Nellie Cat who does exist, but she can’t write things down or know of love or the pain of heart that separation between two lovers brings. Imagine a conceptual cat, a hypothetical mythical cat that writes stupid cat-talk prose, which is not much use except to make you smile. Think of my sixth-sense talents… my feline skills to know everything that will ever happen. I am myself a dream, a conjured abstraction from the deep depths of your mixed-up mind that real cats will never understand. I am the cat phenomenon, who has taken the world of agony angels by storm, I can tell you anything your ears wish to hear. I will say things to you that no one else would dream of – as a conjectural part of your mind, I am the perfect cat for you to talk to.
Sometimes, the memory of a perfect wife or a sensual woman is more real than the woman you loved. Often the memory is more than the reality, the memory you retain in your flailing mind gives you more than trying to chase the impossible dream. We have all said things which were never true or will not happen, I tell made-up lies everyday… as the world’s most incredible feline problem solver this is my job – and the imagination that created me is not the only untruth in the path of your troubled life. When I tell you something that is not a lie, you must hold the image of the women who left you while you sail your damned sailboat alone. You are a fool, never did she properly love you, when she’s only ever loved her first love, the one who’s hurt she has more than once forgiven.
In your dream she still lies there right beside you. You cannot hold this dream, we both know it will one day fade. As the memory of your beautiful woman grows faint, when you no longer stare at the empty space beside you, then an extraordinary thing will begin to happen. Your imagination will take over, you will dream of other things, her memory will flatten. In time she will become part of your good memories, memories that do not hurt you. It will take time… time is the healer of everything, you know?
Does it ever occur to you, Mr Anonymous, how extraordinarily good I am? Do you agree that I’m the perfect ship’s cat, who sees things in ways that only the world’s most incredible feline problem solver could?
Nellie, The Ship’s Cat
And if you’ve got a sticky feline problem that needs fixing, just you write in to Nellie Cat.
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