Fiction On Odyssey: I Want Only
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Fiction On Odyssey: I Want Only

"She made me feel how Claire de Lune sounds."

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Fiction On Odyssey: I Want Only
Ava McLaughlin

"Honey, I know we decided not to get each other presents this Valentine's Day, but I kind of cheated. I say 'kind of' because it's not really cheating as I didn't technically get you anything. I instead-"

"Alex, the point, sweetie,", Alice reminds him, as she so often does.

"Right, well, I thought I would dive back into my high school habits for the night and write you a poem. As much as you love to hate my romantics, I love to show you how I love you. Let me read it to you?"

Alice has, by this point in the evening, already rolled her eyes about six times, but she nods and awaits the odd emotional mix of irritation and flourishing love that is routine for them.

"Okay, it's called: 'My Moonlight'. Alright, here we go," he says straightening out the red stationary paper that he carefully prepared a week before their fifth Valentine's together, with the help of the baby blue Remington Typewriter she bought him four Valentine's ago.

"She makes me feel like Clair de Lune sounds,

From the first time I heard her laugh,

To the first time she kissed me underneath the Moonlight,

To her sitting here in front of me now,

Through the rise and falls of the piano keys,

And the minor chords perfectly strung together,

I will equate my love with the happiness that this song brings me,

And she will always make me feel,

How Clair de Lune sounds,

And she will always be, My Moonlight."

He brings the paper down below his face, and looks at her, pleadingly, while asking, "Well, did you like it?"

"Alex, we both know you're a poor poet-"

"Yeah, well that's not really the point, Alice. The point-"

"Can I speak, Alex?" She isn't angry, by the way, this is just how their relationship works.

"Yes, I'm sorry, continue," he says, sitting back, focusing on letting her speak.

"Besides being a lousy poet, I do applaud your efforts and realize that you are truly sweet, as always. But I can't say I agree with what your poem is saying."

Confused, Alex speaks up again, "What do you mean? You can't agree with what? With loving me?"

She shakes her head and takes his hands across the table. "Of course I love you, it's just I don't think that I should make you feel how this song sounds. This song is sad. It made me cry every time my mother used to make me play it as a kid-mind you that was mostly because I just hated playing piano, but it was also because it's a song doused in melancholia."

Alex, still confused, shakes his head and takes his hands from her. "How can you say this is a sad song? Every time I hear it I have a mental supercut of every happy moment we've shared. As soon as that first chord hits, I'm instantly seeing shots in my head of us dancing in the car or making love or walking hand and hand around the beach or something, each memory a purely picturesque moment. And it's always in Sepia Tone."

"Okay, Alex, what? We've never even been to the beach together."

"That's not the point, Alice. My God! The point is, that this song makes me happy and I think of it almost every time that I'm with you doing happy things. I don't understand how you can't feel the same."

Alice tries taking his hand again, but he resists. "Okay, do you even know where the song Clair de Lune came from?"

He shakes his head, but he doesn't interrupt because, this time, he's actually interested.

"It was a piece of music made for the third act of a play based off of the poem by Paul Verlaine. The poem is all about this man that's trying to find 'peace' with his soul by gazing at moonlit landscapes, but he can't ignore the fact that they're embedded in insuppressible beautiful sorrow that comes from the moonlight. He literally says in the poem that life is 'sobbing with ecstasy'. Sobbing!"

Irritated now, he refuses, "I absolutely hate that. Why is sadness so often mingled with love and beauty? And why can't we have one or the other, you know? I have one or the other with you. When I listen to this song, I hear my version of it. When I'm with you, I feel my version of it too; only happiness, only love, just only. I want only!"

"I don't think you get that, Alex. You don't get 'only'. You get a combination of things and you have to learn to be fine with that. You have to-"

He's standing up now and shaking his head, "No. No, I don't. I can hear whatever version I want and I can feel whatever version I want of my Clair de Lune."

"But does that make it true?", she receives no response. "Listen, Alex, it's late and we need to be going home. I appreciate the poem, although I don't agree with it.

He doesn't reply and he doesn't look at her.

Before leaving she turns around again, touches his arm and says, "By the way, Alex, I really fucking hate Debussy."

Alex, standing still in the middle of what was his favorite restaurant on his favorite day, realizes for the first time how quickly 'makes' can change into 'made'.

--

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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