We fly with music and with love. I've flown on your praise, and the delight in doing strange things with words that feel like I'm painting pictures. Thank you all for letting me.
I have no words to thank all the people who have read this and shared their thoughts with me.
Stephenie gave us this lovely platform to play on. Thank you, lady.
I stood in the window, nude but for the fraying brown ribbon on my wrist, because somehow 'naked' implies a purpose, and Bella was not with me. She would be, soon, and I resisted the temptation to call her, to wake her and bring her to me, feeling selfish to even think about it. This uncontrollable obsession to have her near me at all times was never ending, and the melancholy when she wasn't was as insidious as the snow that fell on this grey dawn.
I normally loved this time of year; January was a calm month with low expectations; but now when I couldn't be with the girl, it was just cold.
The reality of her still caught me off guard; honest and genuine and warm. Her laughter, the way she teased me, how she saw me without judging me, her delight with the simplest things; she brought me to my knees with everything she did.
I breathed warm air on the glass, and drew a spiral in the fog, like she had in my car window that first day we had actually started talking. 'So I'm not the wrong girl, then?' she'd asked. I still wasn't sure that she understood how much she meant to me, but I enjoyed showing her, and the blush of her pleasure, both emotional and physical, made my heart pound every time.
My phone buzzed with an alert, and I dove for it, grinning into my empty room, no longer lonely. Her entry was titled: Work in Progress-
She waits for him in the dark,
She hears him call her name,
The phoenix soars to the spark,
And sears her into flame.
I found myself in the shade of a backwoods town,
I'd been dimmed by the light of the desert sun,
A bird of fire blazed, beyond my reach
I didn't know how high I could burn.
I wrote: Good morning, I love you, first verse and talking blues?
It is now, I adore you, yes, and I miss your sheets and the smell of your skin. –Ordinary Girl
I threw on jeans and a shirt, and shoved my bare toes into my shoes, while struggling to type: Bed and Breakfast? I'll be there in ten minutes.
Hurry. –Ordinary Girl
I stopped at the post office to pick up Alice's long awaited magazine, and the coffee shop, and pulled into Bella's empty driveway, wondering what drove a man to fish in this kind of weather.
She was in the shower, and I joined her, and took her, slick skin and steam and hot whispered words and quick release, and then I drove her home to my bed and she took me, slow ride in warm down, long thrust and endless smooth finish, and we slept after, easy.
Esme called us down to breakfast, her morning smile wider than usual.
"It's here!" shrieked Alice, bouncing in her bunny slippers. She shoved her coffee cup at Jasper and dashed to the kitchen counter, and frantically pawed at the glossy magazine. "Where is it? Dammit! I hate this new small format! And how many ads do they need for vodka in one magazine? Oh! Look it's Santiago!" She held up the two page spread of the Volturi Guard drummer lounging in a popular brand of denim.
"Alice." Emmett scowled and reached for the magazine. She snapped her teeth at his hands.
"Here we go." She continued. "We're in Upcoming Events.
'This year's Olympic Delta Blues Festival summer tour, featuring the Quileute Wolves, will travel through blah, blah, blah… Due to overwhelming popularity, a new venue has been added to kick off the opening event, featuring the three other finalists of the competition in November. Breaking Dawn, Siobhan and Liam, and the Denali Coven will join the Q'Wolves on their sendoff. 'We're excited that we could be a part of the fun,' said Breaking Dawn's spokeswoman, Alice Cullen. The sentiment was echoed by Jacob Black. 'I'm really glad they will be able to make it; we go way back.' The Quileute Wolves , with their earthy mix of blues, rock and tribal beats, blah, blah, blah…'"
She stomped a rabbited foot.
"That's it? We spent two hours answering his stupid questions for that? Aro comped him a $200 dinner for us being part of the fun?"
"Page thirty-six, Alice," said Esme, grinning from the doorway.
"Oh." She leafed through the slick paper. "Oh! Look!"
The photo took up the upper half of the page, and showed us all stacked around Aro's piano, above the caption 'Breaking Dawn Breaks into the Scene'. Emmett stood grinning, holding drumsticks in one hand with his arm over Rosalie's shoulder; she leaned against him but faced away, staring off into the distance with a slight smile on her face. I was on the piano bench, holding Bella against my chest, with my cheek resting on her hair. Her head leaned on my shoulder, and her eyes were closed, more aware of me than the camera. Jasper sat on the ground, arms up over his head to catch Alice's hands, while she reached down to him, lying on her belly on the piano with her feet in the air.
"We got a whole page?" breathed Jazz, incredulous.
"Shh. Listen." Alice hopped up on the kitchen counter and began to read aloud.
"After Breaking Dawn's triumphant introduction of the enigmatic Bella Swan to the band at the Olympic Delta Blues Festival this past autumn, and last month's release of their self produced EP Songs for Elizabeth, the group has been laying low.
'We've got to study for midterms,' grumbles drummer and back vocalist, Emmett Cullen.
This Washington coast based band that labels itself a blues sextet is in danger of failing chemistry.
Yes, that's right. They're in high school.
But don't underestimate them.
They don't sound like kids, with their unique and sensual lyrics and defined artsy blues. Lead guitarist Rosalie Hale certainly doesn't play like one. Her refined skills are reminiscent of Mark Knopfler's understated easy style, with Jimmy Page's playful experimentation. Her flirtatious interaction with the other musicians in the band drives each song with a subtle touch.
Her bassist brother, Jasper, would much prefer to be arranging harmony and mixing tracks to doing his Classic Lit homework. He produced the Songs EP in his basement studio, in between essays on Chaucer and Beowulf.
'I'd hate to think that either had any influence on the music,' he shudders.
We'll take whatever archaic form of literature that's required. Breaking Dawn's first recording is a gorgeous layered mix of singer/songwriter Edward Cullen's keyboards and vocals over brother Emmett's talking blues and the Hales' guitar and bass. The only fault of the disc is that the background vocals of Edward's girlfriend, Bella Swan, and twin sister Alice's haunting harmonica solos seem like an added afterthought.
Swan is no simple backup vocalist. Her vocal precision is crystal clear, with a raspy sweet edge that suits her age without pretension, yet still has the maturity to sing soulful blues. The vocal duo shares the spotlight equally, sometimes in call and answer duets, sometimes in complex harmony, but never in competition; the simpatico between the two is lush and emotional, exactly the way two young people in love should be.
It's easy to pretend that these teenagers aren't old enough to sing about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, but then we have to ask: how old were we ourselves when we snuck our first drink, heard new music that got under our skin, or felt that shock of young lust? Breaking Dawn brings us back to the overwhelming rawness of growing up, and allows us to feel young again, vicariously through their songs.
'We're not angels,' says Alice with a wink, though she looks like she could sprout wings and a halo when your back is turned. 'We're not trying to be role models. We just play what feels right and seems honest. And we haven't signed on with anyone, so we don't have anyone telling us we can't be ourselves.' For the moment, they remain independent, though several major labels have expressed interest.
When not doing homework, the group is laying the final tracks on their debut full length album, titled Tropic of Virgo.
'The songs were all written in the past four months or so,' Edward tells us. 'It's kind of a coming-of-age tale from both the guy and the girl's perspective.' The CD is due out in the spring, coinciding with the band's joining up with the Volturi Guard's European tour for the summer.
'Paris in June!' sighs Alice.
'Amsterdam in July,' grins Jasper Hale.
'Back to school,' they lament."
None of us spoke. I watched the pressure build in Alice's little body until she finally screamed and jumped on the counter to do some sort of bunny hop jig. Jasper and Emmett high and low fived like grade school kids, Rosalie hugged everyone, and Dad popped open a bottle of champagne. Bella flung her arms around my neck and giggled like a little girl.
"So what do you want to see? Where do you want to go?" I asked her, grinning at her excitement.
"It doesn't matter," she said, "as long as we're together."
I wrapped my arms around her.
"We will be." I whispered. "Always. Forever and forever and forever."
Tropic of Gemini?