“She’s the finest girl we know, doesn’t have a bitter bone
But bouncing ‘round the world with us always leaves her just a touch
From spinnin’ out into the stars back up to where we once belonged
Breathe in the air, my pretty, breathe until you fall in love
Breathe in the air my precious, breathe until you want to burst
But don’t miss this world, inflatable girl.”
It was as if the song had been written for her. The emotions she so tried to suppress rose and fell as ephemeral satin that touched her, and left her despite herself. The riffs of the guitar and the voice that sang flowed like viscous syrup, calming, sweet, almost too sweet, and disturbing at once. She was breathing. She was trying not to miss this world. It was moments like this when the entrance to her heart opened, to reveal Atlantis, an unexplored paradise of vibrant and lucid mysteries of which she was all too aware. Moments like this were rare, and never occurred in the presence of anyone else.
She fought to keep her attention as she drove, sky leaden with snow clouds propelling drifts of snowflakes against her windshield, wind tunneling and intensifying in a crescendo to match the symphony in the song and in her mind. And even as she retained perfect control on the steering wheel, the sense of control strangely eluded her. She felt the hum of her car, the light vibrations shaking her soul. The trees, mountains, countryside flew by like sfumato on a fine Renaissance painting, lovingly mastered for her eyes. And the vision of her blurred by the surroundings in much the same way, enigmatic and unfettered, except by herself.
Her eyes bemoaned the love she had never allowed, her smile contradicted the reality she believed and existed, and she expanded as her words surged onto paper, as the colors and illuminated life around her spilled in the pictures she loved to take, buoyancy cheekily making an appearance every so often in the oceans she drowned in. A fallen star she was, and yet light years higher and further than anything one could have ever known. The road ahead unraveled, bold bride of the night in the arms of a lover. The tires caressed in turn, rough and persuasive, crashing into her consciousness, and fading slowly. Her emotions still flailed in the riptide.
As the song ended, the surge of feeling receded, welcomed back into the Ganges of her mind. Deep, renewing, eternal, clandestine. As the music faded, the clouds in the sky deepened in foreboding, and the clouds on her face parted to break into a smile that annihilated and supplanted the sunlight she craved, there to light her own dark shell, and there for all around her to see, and never understand. The magic was in her blissful unawareness that she didn’t need the sun—she had it within her.