Jamie and the Labyrinth
I remember her. Her brown affixed oval eyes and fluttering lashes that obscured as she flashed a lambent smile which welcomed me every weekend. Ivory cream skin that pushed out the contour of her practical neckline tresses. The crooning of David Bowie, The Goblin King, as he bellowed out Magic Dance on her television. It was her Saturday ritual that I was dragged into. I often wondered how the VHS tape hadn’t unraveled or became warped from such abuse. I didn’t mind the repetition as a child, we’d be laughing and throwing pillows at one another eventually. I knew it kept us both from the cold of our painful realities.
Badly flavored knockoff soda and overly cooked popcorn would inevitably take up residence in between my teeth. It left a bad taste in my mouth but seeing her giggle as I picked it out with fervour made me forget it’s charcoaled corn flavor. She was my unbound sister. Spit palmed agreements and pinkie swears that lasted forever.
We were young and found a common ground in not being strangers to pain and strife. It was how we bonded. Every moment we had together created a resonant cascade in my mind that never faded. We caressed the moments of the childlike time we had together. From the way our clothes stained as we rolled around on the grass playing steamroller, to her dreams of being a beautiful super model in her mirror.
Everything she performed was with a flying purpose despite the neglection around us. Even the times when she was shaking or crying from recollection. The willow tree we sat under and swung from, scoring one another. Tarzan had nothing on her speed but I always went farther.
The cherry red lipstick that she stole from her mother left a permanent stain on the old polaroid photos I collected. I kept them for a long time until they got lost and only the blur of memory could recall their splendor.
Sometimes the nights were too hard for us and and she couldn't sleep. We talked for hours about the same things and my many jokes overcame her. She laughed until her lungs were bursting or her body cramped up exhausted in the sleeping bag next to me. The glow of David Bowie on the screen silhouetted her restless frame. The puppets gave me nightmares and gave her sardonic laughter, it kept me awake but I never told her. That was the power of the Magic Dance fever.
“Do we have to go to sleep?” She asked.
“No, we can do whatever we want. Let’s go to Mars, Jupiter? Maybe Eternia?”
This conversation lead to her eventual dream escape.
Then her casket sat before me. Denial crept up my spine as everyone tried to recall the life in her body. A bullet to end the pain of a life gone astray. I never saw that grave. The swingset in the park we used to mess around in was her last stand that day. She just could no longer take the pain.
Teenage years wasted. But even after years of her being gone sunk in and no more weekends of pillowed disorder existed. Only a smile on my face remained as I recalled her red stained lips. Badly sung Madonna resonated kindly. Jamie, the girl forever dancing in the Labyrinth of her dreams and my memory.