-Continued....don't worry it is a third of the size of the other half..hehehe-
“Who are you talking to?” He asked
“Oh, ha..Aiken Drum the Brownie!” I replied,as if that was perfectly normal
“Like from the old nursery rhyme?”
“EXACTLY! Well, he isn't anything like the nursery rhyme. Not half as charming!”
Aiken elbowed me. “THAT WAS RUDE!” He quipped.I laughed. I told the boy “Well he thinks that was rude of me to say. But humans were always the least refined creatures, if you ask me.”
The boy grinned. “I think the elves are the most refined. But I've never seen one. Well, I'm not sure.”
“Well depends on the elf. The little impish ones are not refined at all. But there are some beautiful majestic ones in redwood forests, and such. They are hard so see.”
The boy sighed. “When I was little, I was convinced I saw elves. Maybe I did. But you know..maybe that was just being a child. But I cried when I couldn't see them anymore. I guess that is kind of silly.”
My heart skipped a beat. “Not at all, the elves are persnickety creatures. They will visit you again.”
I remembered my mom and her same words, and felt warmer then I had in a long time.
The young man smiled as wide as a mile. “Thank you, I hope so.” The subway stopped and the girl grabbed his hand, even harder, shot me a strange look and pulled him through the door. He stopped to wave and then disappeared into the crowd, just another head.
Two months later I found a small story in a local magazine about a lady who lived in the subway who conversed with elves. The similarities with my conversation with the boy and the story, were too similar to be an accident. He obviously wrote it, or someone overheard the conversation. I looked up his name. Yes, it was the same boy. The same character was later in a book he wrote, and many after.He became very well known.I watched his success with little pricks of joy in my heart. The elves had in fact, visited him again. They had visited him through the portals of words. And I had helped arrange the visit.
Sometimes I eat dinner after work at the cafe down the street with a gossipy tree nymph. I reserve a table for two and the waiter used to wonder why, because he only saw me. Once he asked me why I reserved a table for two, week after week.
I replied “Oh, it isn't just me. Don't tell me you haven't noticed Willow? I don't think you could miss someone with as loud a mouth as her!” I winked at him, and he just stared.
I continued, “I mean to you, she probably doesn't seem real. It's complicated. Did you ever have an imaginary friend?”
He laughed. “Uh,I did. He was a small dragon that I brought in my pocket to school till I was about 8. Then I guess he just disappeared. Growing up and stuff. But I don't think I ever reserved a table for him and me.” He laughed again.
I laughed as well. “It's kind of like that. But she is more..real..I guess”
We both smiled awkwardly and he fiddled with his thumbs.
“Ah, so I need to...”
“Take care of a table?”
He scurried off, to my disappointment. He never asked me about my reservations again. I don't think we have exchanged two words since then. Too bad. I always thought he was kind of cute in a fawn-ish way. But I have noticed the cash register has a little stone dragon sitting on it now.
The butcher thinks I eat an awful lot of ham, but the truth is I indulge my teddy bears too much. He likes to make jokes about me having a hollow leg. I just smile. He barely ever smiles, but often I can get him to crack a smile when I ask him about how his music is going. He is a wonderful musician. He will wrap up my ham, while telling me all about the wonders of notes. He calls it magic. Then he laughs at himself.
“Sorry, madam. But it really does feel like magic.”
“I think it is.” I answer putting the wrapped ham in my shopping basket.
You would think being stuffed and all, teddy bears wouldn't eat. Silly me, offering them human food. But since I was little, I was always convinced if I were a teddy bear I would want ham. They are spoiled rotten, now. I'll go broke dressing and feeding my menagerie of stuffed animals, I worry sometimes. Then I laugh. Such may be my plight, but I happily resign myself to it. I find nowadays, I have to laugh quite a lot. It keeps one from losing your last bits of sanity. And it is a uniquely human trait. Mythical creatures are not half as good at laughing at themselves, as humans.
Yesterday after tucking my dolls in bed in the afternoon (they are very grumpy if they don’t take a nap) I decided to take a stroll. I mutter to myself, wondering about everything and nothing. I'm closer to an old lady, then a young one now. My hair is turning white as snow and the dwarves call me Snow White. They always had a sense of humor. The real Snow White, still doesn't have a single white hair on her head. But she is charming, nevertheless. I always loved her story. I've always just loved stories.
It's hard sometimes. No, most of the time. I'm like Peter Pan stuck in an aging body. That thought always amused me. I've always been easily amused. Some little children run past me.
“IT'S THE MAGIC LADY!” They chirp.
I feel a slight smile playing at my lips. I've always been most comfortable around children. Children are much more open to magic, to accepting me. Sometimes they even see the things I can see. The thought comforts me. The winds rustle the leaves and it sounds sort of like a hum. I hum the bars of the tune with them, it's familiar to me by now. I pulled my jacket, closer around my frame, as the wind brushes past me.
Then I smile, feeling the warm light behind my ear. I take a deep breath and marvel at who I am. I am not how I would have even chosen to be. But yet, I know that I am exactly who I am meant to be and happy to be her. I AM special. I close my eyes and listen to the leaves like so long ago. I sway back and forth till the end. I open my eyes and stare out at a figure with something in her delicate hand. I watch Fall dip her wand.
Then I grin and wave.