They are named Muriel, Mabel, or Mildred--names from days gone by, the days of WWII, the Speakeasies, the Charlestons, the great Jazz age, and the Follies Bergere. Things I probably don't even know, growing up in another culture a world away. But they allow my curiosity to grow, the way they become animated when the weekly music hour at the Chateau takes place. Some of the ladies, and ladies they are, often start to sing--what lovely voice they still possess despite the faint tremor in their weary heart.

I see them as young maidens again, their face burnished off through the ravages of time glow with a fire at some distant memory of their first love, or the last love, or the many loves in between. I am happy at the knowledge that they have been spared of time's cruel hands trying to obliterate the most precious and beautiful string of their heart--LOVE.

I am the baby here, they opine, all of them are good fifteen to twenty years older than me by chronology, some maybe even older. But they don't know; all I want to be is your baby, you my wonderous rolllingstone. I would risk anything to lie down next to you under the shade of that sprawling fig tree across from the ornate theater in the park. The thick green grass would cushion my frail body with its warm, moist velvety silkiness of the most elegant Karastan that ever got knotted. The clear blue sky from up above would take my breath away and when I closed my eyes I could imagine the weight of your full embrace upon me. What a great way it would be to breathe my last, or better yet, continue breathing with this current life.

Well, that reminds me: where did my so called life go while I was busy otherwise? Or is THIS my destiny. But I really do not want to accept this destiny. I prefer an alternate one, in day-dreaming, only a bright wish, a continuity of day to day, driving myself to a place where my future is still yet to be and waiting. But then agin, I know I have no other destiny despite all my fervent wishes.

The images of my future that comes to me nowadays are incomplete, the way images of an unfinished house only gives off suggestions of its grandeur when completed.

So I stay on, in my well-appointed home and continue to sink. I cannot make sense of the constant, merciless ache of my soul.

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