My heart

In about 15 years from now, you will meet a young man. He is a strange young man, who keeps an intricately carved chest under his bed. You will learn the contents of that chest, as he wears a different one each day.

Masks. Each one carefully crafted, every contour a response to years of sharp observation. Whorled patterns cover almost every inch of smooth wood, even concealing the eyes. Most importantly, the eyes. Daedal spirals, designed to elicit a specific response. Masks for a different kind of masquerade, everyone else the unsuspecting guest.

Should any of the masks be removed, you would perhaps be taken aback, the pristine exterior a subtle misdirection. For on the inside, sweat has hewn thin grooves, flecks of blood have merged with the grain. But no-one has ever taken off the mask. He shows no outward signs of this hidden toll, why would they?

Slowly, the young man will become confused, You do not react as he anticipates, almost as if you do not see the masks. But that is not possible; even he cannot recall the curve of his mouth, the colour of his eyes. So he draws from deep within himself, he constructs a performance worthy of the masks. He forgets himself in it, every minute inflection has but one purpose. To make you see him as the rest do.

That too, fails. For the first time, he will understand the nature of grace, as your fingers reach toward him. Your touch will startle him, like a sliver of glass. The first touch always does, on a skin that has been indifferent for so long. Your finger will trace the curve of his mouth. His eyes are blue.

But you know that, you’ve known for as long as you’ve known him. They were never hidden from you. What you see in those eyes will remain a riddle to him, even after you marry him.
He will not waste time in the attempt to solve it, rather, he is thankful every day.

Thankful for what it is to wake up next to you. For what it means to love you. To know you. He is giddy at the sound of your laughter, brought to his knees every time you smile.

You will both fetch that chest from beneath his bed. You will carry it to the shore, to the rocks where he spoke those words that bound you forever. He will hesitate as you hand him a match, but one glance from you brings him peace.

And you will stand together and watch the flames rise into the air, the smoke dancing whorls and spirals.


It’s Mrs TenMiles birthday today, and I try to clutch at the words and meaning to convey what it is she means to me. And what is a facetted meaning, is perhaps best expressed simply.

My heart, my lover, my wife and best friend.

Happy Birthday.

Loving you is like breathing.

~ by tenmiles on October 7, 2005.

13 Responses to “My heart”

  1. She’s one lucky lady! I hope you guys have a great day today and give her my love please … 🙂

  2. Beautiful, sweet, touching, smile-inducing… You’re lucky to have each other. 🙂

    Happy birthday, Mrs. Machine. I hope the day brings you everything you dreamed.

  3. Extend my best wishes to Mrs TenMiles.
    Love the piece you wrote… wonderful insights.

  4. That was just lovely, and pretty.

    Happy Birthday Ms. Machine (I’m politically correct don’t you know.)

  5. I wish your wife the most wonderful of birthdays imagineable! Make sure he takes you out and lavishes heaps of attention on you all weekend…birthdays should be stretched out to last at least two or three days. Have a marvelous birthday.

  6. My most sincere wishes for a wonderful and incredibly memorable birthday! May it bring you the greatest of joys. =)

    Somehow, I’ve forgotten all the other words…

  7. Hi to all. Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes. It really means alot to me. I had the most amazing day. Just the things FM wrote would have made it amazing on its own but he spoiled me so much and had a whole day planned for me. Once again Thanks. Mrs Tenmiles

  8. You are a master of the craft. I had to remind myself to breath halfway through.

  9. Kyknoord – If you want me to come to the play, you just need to ask!

  10. What an amazing tribute to your wife! I’m glad to meet you, forgottenmachine… =o)

  11. Wow.

  12. A Happy, happy birthday to you (late), Mrs. Tenmile!

    Forgotten machine, this is a beautiful post! I’m glad I stopped by (from Kelly’s).

  13. Wow. That was a lovely piece.

    Congrats my friend to you and yours! 😀

    “hjgjq”: heavy jack giving joyous questions

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