Little Girl’s Dreams by JLD 8/7/07
PROMPT: Pencils, rulers, and chalk- use them in a piece NOT about school.
When I was a little girl I dreamed of knights in shining armor. I dream of men strong in battle fighting, fending off demons, enemies, and hordes. I dreamed that valiant men wore silver and sparkled in midday sun. I dreamed that they spoke in high language, that they spoke with fire, that they spoke with authority. When I was a little girl I thought the men were saviors in flesh. They championed the wronged. They buoyed up the weak. They saved society. They card for the widow the orphan the beggar the enfirmed the feeble minded. Men were men and stood mighty in the sight of creatures, human, and god. Men were men and died as men and lived again as legend and died never afterward. That was when I was a little girl and believed that somewhere men, people, society were some how good in some part and worth saving and worth the trouble to battle.
I used my chalk then to draw in the fine features. The bold lines of dreaming and faith. I drew my knights in chalk on sidewalks and house walls. I drew them on slips of paper. I drew them on napkins and paper place mats. I drew them secretly on cinder blocks in old bathroom stalls. I filled my world with chalk -bold knights. Fuzzy, large, idyllic in simplicity. Easily effaced.
When I was a grown girl, I dreamed that men were men and that I was their lady with flying handkerchief and weeping eyes. I dreamed that I was gorgeous and beautiful and that the fair gallant knights riding off to war would dream of me and gain strength. I dreamed that I was Helen, a thousand ships launched in my name, my honor, my command to protect the world, to tame the world, to bring peace to the world and true righteousness to the far reaches. A black African Helen, a Cleopatra not doomed to be destroyed by love from a man who knew only ambition and conquering for some fleeting glory of an already decaying empire. When I was a grown girl, I dreamed that men were true, honor bound, loyal, loving, caring and that I was their inspiration and wellspring. But that was when I believed that men valued women, that women were virtuous and powerful, when I believed men and women were two parts of one, individual and whole unto themselves but stronger and more complete when brought together.
I used my pencil then to draw knights with angry furrows and slavering mouths. I drew then precise. Their eyes squinting against harsh suns and foul winds but their smiles greedy with the blood they’d spill. Blood spilled not for good but for self importance and glory and ambition. I drew fine lines, fine lines detailing the ravage insignia they carved upon their once glowing armor. Now dragons’ teeth dripped with blood. Wolf fangs sank into innocent flesh. Tiger claws tore at baby flesh. I drew pencil fine knights everywhere. In scrap books. On pieces of napkins from restaurants. I drew them detailed and fine on the backs of church bulletins, on the backs of receipts, on parking tickets. I drew them with precision on doctor’s bills, prescription drug envelopes, on eviction notices, on welfare stubs. I filled the world with penciled mirrors of savage knights devouring society, the poor, the weak, the enfirmed. Hard sharp penciled lines. Not as easily effaced.
I formed a ruler. A diamond ruler, each quality etched and filled with fine gold. I held this ruler close to my heart. I held it out against enemies, evil, men. I held it aloft daring any to reach. They were all found lacking. Their feats of glory were in vain. Their gestures of love futile. Their soft seduction words ridiculous prattle. I held my ruler, diamond, gilded, high. I was no longer a little girl dreaming of nobility in men, no long a little girl who dreamed fidelity in men. I was no loner the grown girl who dreamed of her own power to foster loyalty and pride in men. I was no longer the grown girl dreaming herself beautiful enough to tug and turn ignoble heathenish savages to hallowed heroism. Instead I was a mighty avenger, Helen turned warrior princess, daring the pallid vapid ruthless knight to do battle. My ruler, turned diamond sword with fine gold increments, lured and stabbed dead.
But something happened. From behind, from a place unexpected. From a time a generation a thought so unusual, he came forth. His brilliance shattered the savage enemies . His radiant light and soul overpowered them, shattering splintering then dissipating them like so much nothing that they were.
My mighty diamond sword fell to the ground. It’s deadly point squared. My eyes raged over him. His stature brooked no assault. His eyes hid no malice. His smile did not drip with the blood and angry hearts of weak and feeble people. His armor was not stained or carved with viciousness. It was smooth, high-polished. It shone and reflected the sun.
His voice was tender, the voice of assured authority. It mixed and spoke with healing and caring. It sounded like the rushing waters over river rocks, not the harsh fall of water from killing heights. His words were thoughtful. He spoke when there was need to speak. He honored the word. He thought clear patterns before spilling words and wasting their power.
When he reached to tough my bloodied hand, his rough skin soothed. Small warm shivers caused the fine hairs on my arms and neck to rise. With them a soft moan rose from the wellspring I thought dried and killed by the early savages tearing up the world, the hearts, the love. He opened his arms wide, his broad shoulders carrying the goodness of a bygone and forgotten age when men were men and honored their women with true respect, care, and completeness.
"Come. Fighting is over. Lay aside your weapons, draw new images." He smiled tenderly.
I walked forward into a new age of glory where this man was a knight, where this man was noble, where this man was loyal, where this man was caring. An age where the grown woman believed in the power of her own soul to bring forth, draw forth from dark places the glowing knight that this man is.
Now I draw images with purple ink, royal majesty impossible to efface.