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The end (for real) February 5, 2012

Posted by Leah in Gallimaufry.

Once upon a time (or two years ago) there was a young woman — let’s call her Leah, though this is not her name — who spent happy hours in pursuit of obscure bits of knowledge. Having acquired the notion that this would become her life’s work, Leah found it necessary to take leave of her family and her friends and the places that she knew. She traversed a wide ocean to live for some months in the bosom of a largish city on a small and perpetually wet island in a northern sea. This girl, it so happened, loved a boy, deeply and truly and madly. Though she kept faith with him in her heart, Leah wasn’t the type of girl who conceived of pleasure as an exclusive gift. She reasoned it thus. To lighten the spirit, in our daily social intercourse, do we not seek laughter wheresoever we may justly find it? What is an orgasm except an immense and multilayered explosion of laughter that arises from the depths, bubbles out and excites the nerves, extends to the extremities, and racks and convulses the whole body with a surfeit of pleasure, thereby exalting and elating and elevating the self while also compressing it within a timeless moment of utter and unalloyed ecstasy? Shouldn’t such exemplary delights be shared, for does not the joy that manifests in this manner magnify by means of finding its expression in the company of friends? Therefore, she concluded, having established we’re friends, let’s get naked and fuck, why don’t we?

As people do, she had contradictions, this girl who was not named Leah, and heterogeneous tastes, which included testing the limits of her experience. She thought it would be good to share the adventures she had in the place called London with the boy who remained at home with the key to her very being. Leah wrote these assorted sordid tales for him so that her London would become their city through common understanding despite the fact of a very great distance. While Leah was often lonely, she met special people, who made her new and temporary abode come to life for her, and she, in her turn, gave to them what she could spare of herself.

Just as she missed him terribly, the boy also missed Leah. He had adventures of his own as well. For a time, while she returned across the ocean, they were together and deliriously happy. Too soon, Leah flew away again for another sojourn of months on the faraway continent on the other side of the sea. Inevitably, it transpired that the three thousand two hundred seventy-five miles that separated them were three thousand two hundred seventy-five too many. They said a tearful farewell, and the lives of the boy and the girl diverged as the threads in a tapestry do. Despite good intentions and the best of wills, such things happen in this imperfectible world. It is no one’s fault.

Without the boy she had once loved as the principal intended audience for her writing, Leah persisted in committing to the pixelated page the exploits that she dared in London, which had become familiar to her as a place called home. In part, she did this to see the project she had started through. But she also enjoyed telling her stories and reliving her deeds in this way. Additionally, Leah felt she had things to say which were worth saying. On reflection, considering the readers she had accumulated, she could have exhibited a greater measure of boldness in her writing. Too late, for example, Leah essays the third person. There are as well things that remain unsaid, through neglect and indifference, or from indolence and a lack of application, or because of Leah’s inability to give expression to inchoate thoughts. She figured that there would always be adequate time to set things right.

Long ago and far away, on lazy summer afternoons when school was out, it seemed that time stretched far, and the hours in a day, though still finite in their number and their extent, were enough to read and gambol and play. It was then, in fact, that Leah acquired her first taste for setting her own words to a printed page and placing them to neatly fit. In the years that followed, she developed other interests, and the chief among these were boys and her scholastic passions. A decade and a half after those barefoot afternoons from a half remembered August, the time allotted to things on this earth, and more importantly, to its people seems unbearably meager.

Leah has loosed many words upon the world — one hundred thirty thousand of them, give or take, not including the various comments. Focused as they are on one thing only, these words sketch a monstrously distorted self-portrait. The proportions are askew. Yet it is an autobiography just the same.

And now it is time to stop.

The story continues, unwebbed. The middle chapters are still to be lived and savored. The final chapters remain even to be dreamed. With a sufficient quantity of good luck, the once upon a time with which this page commenced might pair with a happily ever after as its ideal bookend. It may be so. Who can tell?

These are the tales of many nights. After night comes the day.

We fade to brightness here.