Tuesday, August 11, 2009


[note: the image I found here in a google search for 'red-haired boy' - it is NOT Drew BUT, when I came across it, I was shocked speechless.... because it is IDENTICAL to how I remember him - and checking with D. he too was pole-axed at the resemblance.]

There is a green sign on the highway to and from Montreal, Route 778 – Moulinette Road, Long Sault. If you take the long winding road, you will reach a small community nestled just up from the St. Lawrence, a pristine wilderness of tree and flower-studded meadows, rocky beaches with pristine inlets and campgrounds much in demand during the hot, lazy days of summer and into the blazing glory of fall.

A spirit waits for me there, on the green verge at the side of the road, dotted with echenecia and black eyed susans swaying in the breeze from the cars which breathe past with a sigh, blind to the figure which drifts through the thick stand of trees stretching deep into the countryside. The transport trucks that trundle along the black ribbon of asphalt like lumbering pachyderms, sense not the quiet soul which waits patiently for my frequent journeys past, dreaming of a youth forever suspended in the past.

His name was Drew.

His hair was a deep, rich dark red and fell in waves and curls well below his shoulders, thick and the envy of many, a source of merriment between he and I as we vied for the wildest locks. His eyes were a clear, glacial blue, at times merry, dancing with humour and affection, but could harden into the street-smart realities of his Celtic ancestry and rough upbringing. But I remember most the soft, limpid kindness of those lovely eyes, compassionate and yearning looking into my own as he once again would blot my tears and cup my face.

D. filled my soul, my heart, my mind and my attention in those early days; his actions and reactions, his absences and small, careless cruelties, his compelling sexuality against which I was helpless obsessed me. He was my puppeteer and like a marionette, I danced and cavorted to the tunes he chose and like a broken doll, would lie helpless in the corner when his interest turned elsewhere.

Often, on those cruel nights when D.’s demons drove him from me with a shrug and a careless wave, it was Drew who would appear beside me, his big hands gentle on my face as he wiped away tears, his voice gentle in my ears as he crooned comfort and reassurance and assured me of my worth. He called me Treasure; I remember that now, though for a very long time I had forgotten. He would walk me home after D. abandoned me, his big arm warm around my shoulder, our hair, almost identical, curling in the hot, humid embrace of a Montreal summer night, our thick, red waves twining and dancing as we walked the deserted streets.

At my home, he would lift my hand to his lips and kiss it gently, and run his fingers along my cheek and take upon the tip, the glistening salt drop of my tears and sip it, gently, into his cruelly beautiful sculpted lips, then sighing, tell me again I was a Treasure and send me in.

Even while I felt grateful for his comfort and caring, I was blind to what I think now might have been more; so entwined was I with my obsession, compelling and overwhelming, with D. that there existed not even a small space in my soul that recognized trueness of caring, the genuineness of want.

But I cared for him, my friend and warrior Drew.

Though somewhat a ‘bad boy’ like many I knew in the day, I felt comfortable and safe around him, relaxed and confident of being accepted and liked. In hindsight, I was an innocent among a lot of rather bad wolves and often marvel that it must have been that naivety, the freshness of it that stayed their hands and made their fierce grins gentle, the predatory slavering want, quieten.

Long Sault was a favourite haunt of the crowd among which I mingled, a place where weekend bacchanalias of indulgence played out, maenads and satyrs cavorted and played out their riotous revels against the background of campfire and the blaze of stars in a wine dark sky. But for me, innocent that I was in those days, Long Sault was off-limits and though I sometimes envied and secretly yearned to experience the wildness of those summer nights, I remained obediently home, D’s secret escape, his to take or not, his property and despite the heartache and the agony, content to be so.

And one hot, humid summer night, his eyes alight with the dying cry of starlight, with colours weaving and dancing in a moonless sky, his body insubstantial and ethereal, Drew staggered his way to the black river of asphalt and opened his arms and his heart to the glory of light which swept through the hot summer breeze and grasped eternity .

And I do not pass Exit 778 without thinking of my friend Drew and feeling a poignant sadness for the dreaming spirit which drifts insubstantial along the black-topped highway and dreams of youth and a future never realized.

Drew, you are not forgotten.


littleone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
littleone said...

oooops.. gotta keep my mind on what / who i am writing to... i am sooo sorry selkie.. (see me blushing??)

anyway... as i was trying to say..

that was very moving.. and has left me speechless (dumb too - cheeky grin)

morningstar (owned by Warren)

swan said...

Oh my... what a finely drawn portrait.


mouse said...

That was simply beautiful. It made me cry.


Anonymous said...

Hauntingly beautiful, selkie.

no, certainly not forgotten....ethereal perhaps but he is *in* you still...

Gray said...

Beautifully written. People that touch our lives are never forgotten.

Thank you for your comment, I think I should redo my answer. While I believe that wedding rings are a package deal with the marriage it also depends on the people involved. My thought was simply when one partner takes off the ring, not when both agree to it. :)

cutesypah said...

your writing inspires me to write. very moving, selkie. thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

ronnie said...

That was so beautiful Selkie. Thank you.


vanimp said...

Indeed it is those who walk beside you at times when you cannot see clearly the love they carry. I doubt you are forgotten either my sweet just as I realised too late what I had lost and remember with love now. They are still with us just in a different way x

Liras said...

What a wonderful person to have taken care of you. I think that what you had with him was just what you needed.