"You know what you should do? Paint the ceiling", she had said, "So when each morning jerks me out of my dream world, right before my groggy, reluctant eyes would be another dream world."
And so he did. And then they lay back on the bed, holding hands, looking at the bluey darkness hanging above them, at the dull, dying stars falling towards them, at the yellow brushstrokes curling around the stars with a faint glow, at the strange dead starfish scattered in their midst.
"It is so... chaotic. Beautiful..." She whispers, "A mixing of two worlds, even that jagged horizon that separates the dead and the living, the heavens and us has faded away. The seas have spilled into the skies and the stars are tumbling down towards us. Poor confused souls. It is real and it's here and it's incredibly menacing. My roof seems to find it hard to bear the weight of the destruction, don't you think? Look how the paint is seeping through the cracks, trying so desperately to hold it up! If it does collapse, imagine what a beautiful mess it would be."
"Words, words." He mutters, sighing, sleepy. "Did you check your mail today, or has today already become yesterday? Nora Ellis of The Art Review called my last painting 'an inconsequential jumble'."
"Who? Nora Ellis of The Art Review!" she imitates him in a shrill voice. "Nora Schmora. She doesn't understand you, she doesn't know you like I do. I wish you'd let me write about you."
"Why would you want to? Words could never be enough. Explanations, reviews, justifications destroy art. And if someone does require these.. words.. to understand me or any artist, for that matter, to grasp the meaning beyond the obvious, then they would never really understand us, anyhow."
"You know, you say that, and I tell myself, 'It doesn't bother me.' and it really doesn't. I could tell you, that prose is an art. I do with a pen and ink, or a keyboard lately, what you do with a paintbrush and a palette. I could tell you so much, but I decide not to. And then you go and create something like this for me." She points emphatically at her lavishly painted ceiling. "And there's a flurry of words in my mind." She closes her eyes now and whispers. "An iridescent blue. Darkness. Frozen wishes and shooting stars and candy bars and childhood dreams." She smiles. "Morbid."
The word hangs in the air between them.
"I experience the world in words, and I know no other way. I look at a violin and somewhere in my head a quill rears up and begins to describe it, in a startlingly Victorian font, as a drop of rich molten chocolate threatening to fall off and the music it makes as evocative, soft sounds that ring like strands of chocolate hitting the air, creating ripples in time. Or on a rather inartistic note, when someone says apple, my mind goes "a-p-p-l-e" rather than providing me with an image of that little red fruit.
I like to believe there might be people out there, who won't know what they are seeing till I put it into words for them. I really do wish you'd let me write about you, someday. I'm no Nora Ellis. I can write well, I really can and I'm not the only one who thinks that. I know that I'll manage to capture you far better than anyone else. It won't be a review, not really, it will be a dedication."
He stares at her for a moment, quiet, a slight smile playing on his lips. "Writing is your passion, I may not understand it, fully. Yet. But I do appreciate it."
"No, it's more than that." She sits up, suddenly. Then she shrugs. "Or, maybe, it's less." She waits, collecting her thoughts, as he looks at her, eyebrows raised, smirking. "Writing, to me, is like... breathing. Regular, routine. Involuntary!" She laughs, adding, "But if I ever did stop, I'd die."