Castle On A Cloud

It was not their first walk together, nor would it be their last.  But it would be one that they both would remember; ’til the last great kreetisfer bird dropped from the sky.

It was not his suggestion.  It was not his decision.  But he was not opposed to a “destination wedding.”  Ever since his nephew married in Taos, and he spent 4 days in the high elevation sun of New Mexico in a town with no national brands, he reckoned that destination weddings were cool (as long as that destination did not mean being in a war zone, or a potential war zone).  And no one could possibly think of Bermuda as war zone, actual or potential.

The stretch of sand that they walked hand in hand was called Long Bay Beach, and it enjoyed the afternoon’s setting sun… which they both preferred.  He would have said that there was a warmth to the yellow in a setting sun that was absent in the blue of the early morning sun.  And warmth in life was a good thing.

The soft water inched onto their bare toes, he blinked into the sun as it made its way to the water line, “You do know that I love you?”

There is a castle on a cloud,
I like to go there in my sleep,
Aren’t any floors for me to sweep,
Not in my castle on a cloud.

He knew that silence did not mean that the question was not heard.  Hard to focus on words after you’ve had a couple of mojitos, when you are erev bride, walking with your father, taking in a pristine Bermuda sunset.  He could wait for an answer.

She knew the question was unnecessary. She had to smile to herself, he is more nervous about being the father of the bride than I am about being the bride! She wondered if this was the way it was supposed to be… the insecurity roles reversed.  But she wouldn’t let that thought take away from the warmth of the June evening, from her excitement, from her happiness, from the richness of her memories both sweet and bittersweet.

Looking at the wet sand at the water’s edge she said, “No sea glass here.”  She loved sea glass and started collecting it when she was just a little girl.  The beaches on Long Island Sound offered up a decent supply of glass shards that had been beaten to a dull smoothness by the sea and sand.  Whether she began the collection on her own, or at her Father’s suggestion, she could not remember.  But surely, prospecting for glass on the rocky beaches of Norwalk was a solitary pursuit that fit her natures well. Besides it was quiet.

There is a room that’s full of toys,
There are a hundred boys and girls,
Nobody shouts or talks too loud,
Not in my castle on a cloud.

With her Father there was always a story.  Where did it begin? Where did the fiction take off and diverge from the real… but even as a little girl she knew a story had a ring of the real, even when it sounded silly.  She loved it.  Maybe more now in reflection, as the bride-to-be, than as the little girl.  Later she would say it was the effect of the third mojito… or the water lapping on to her feet, or the sinking sun.  She did feel the squeeze of his hand.  She knew that he needed a story… something that would make him feel less worried.

“There is a story you used to tell me when I was sad,” she said.  They both stopped their walk, and turned to the sea.  A film director would have called it a money shot.  She took both of his hands in hers, “and so, a big white kreetisfer bird, dressed appropriately for the occasion, circles high, folds its wings into a steep dive, not to gather a terrified rodent into its talons, but to rescue the little girl from shape-shifting monsters who consumed girls instead of smelly vegetables.”

Through his eyes he had to laugh.  He knew the story well. He hugged her. “Thank you, thank you so much.”

There is a lady all in white,
Holds me and sings a lullaby,
She’s nice to see and she’s soft to touch,
She says “Cosette, I love you very much.”

“There is more,” she said.  She took off down the beach, arms spread out into wings, kicking at the water, wheeling in-land and skipping back to him. “They traveled for miles and miles past the land of the crypto-fascists and the troglodyte-republicans, they threw stink bombs on Fenway Park and they rode the thermals to a beautiful land where strawberry twizzlers had replaced broccoli and asparagus in the food pyramid…”

“…and no one had to cry.” He finished.  “Thank you, thank you so much.”

I know a place where no one’s lost,
I know a place where no one cries,
Crying at all is not allowed,
Not in my castle on a cloud.

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