A metaphorical picture of the grandeur and evanescence of love and youth.
|Dark and lifeless was the forest. Colossal pines like skycrapers hid the undergrowth from the light of the moon, and their needles blanketed the ground below them. No sound disturbed the stillness of forest, except for the rushing of fire of the burning city. Endlessly encircled by woodland, the conflagration consumed the city like a hungry beast and ignited the trees like matches. Between the gaps of flames could be seen towering arches and magnificent structures--glorious testimonies of its builders. Now no one was present, and the fire destroyed the once beautiful metropolis.
All of a sudden, not far from the city, a young couple appeared, running from the fire. One boy and one girl, holding hands, were sprinting into the dreary forest. They ran among the trees, sometimes stumbling on nothing, but always resuming their flight. Far behind them giant buildings collapsed into the blaze, and, for a moment, the boy and the girl stopped and looked back at the city. They wore terror on their faces as people witnessing the dissolution of their home, but the couple threw off these expressions and continued deeper into the forest.
In regards to their appearance, they were dressed strangely. The two were sporting formal clothing: the boy a tuxedo and the girl an evening gown. Their outfits hindered them as they ran, but the couple did not know why they were wearing them. It seemed as though they always had, and it was natural.
After having put a great distance between themselves and the fire, the boy and the girl stopped. It so happened that they had come upon a peculiar thing in the forest. It was a large, metal building, dilapidated and overgrown with flora. Ivy and other plants scaled the aged walls, ran in and out of vents and smashed windows, and led the two to a pair of open double doors. Above the entrance were various letters stretching across the aluminum siding, but they were mostly ensconced by vines.. They directed their focus inside the building, where beams of moonlight penetrated the darkness to make splotches on the floor. Gambling with their safety, the couple trod inside. Their eyes adjusted to the darkness, and they could see the great room better.
The interior was one huge room, and it was just as worn as its exterior. Plants creeped in from the outside and dangled halfway from the floor. The roof of it was high and supported by steel beams and trusses. These were wrapped with vines, and hung from them was a tattered banner that read, “JUN./SEN. PROM.” The text was made clear by the moonlight coming from an enormous hole in the ceiling. The inside was drywalled and colored in sections of blue and white. On one end of the building, among some golden statuettes, was a poster that declared, “Go Warriors!”
The boy and the girl walked across the floor, stepping over painted lines that seemed to be everywhere--some straight and some curved. They made for the far side of the building, where a few tables and chairs were situated. The boy told the girl to wait in the center of the building under the moonlight, and he continued to one table with a bulky device on it that was covered with buttons and switches.
The boy looked back at the girl and was moved by her extravagant beauty. She was tall and thin, and the dress she wore was red, a few shades different than her hair. The boy was fondest of the freckled cheeks under her flawless brown eyes. She, in return, admired his black hair--combed backwards, pointing to his wide shoulders.
He broke his gaze to focus on the box on the table. The boy had never seen anything like it. He curiously lifted his hands and pressed a switch on the bottom right corner of the device. Immediately a little green light appeared on the bottom left. The boy jumped in surprise, looking back and forth between the girl and the device. He stared at the light for several seconds and stepped forward. His hands hovered over the box, and he wondered what else it could do.
For one reason or another his concentration was drawn to a row of knobs at the top right. He turned one, but nothing happened. At the top left was a row of buttons; one was marked with an arrow. This interested the boy, so he pressed it, and instantly a ground-shaking noise came from four black boxes, each suspended in their own corner of the room. The noise was long and drawn out, coming out in an ordered arrangement of different tones. It was a melody.
The music knocked dust free from the surfaces inside the building, and for a short period the air was dirty. The couple coughed and looked around them as new and wonderful sounds met their ears. They had never heard music. At first they were afraid, but as their eyes met, and the girl lifted her arm to the boy, the two became comfortable. The boy lifted his arm, walked to the center of the room, and grasped the hand of the girl. They embraced and stared into each other’s eyes.
The music introduced percussion, synthesizer, and voice into the instrumentation; it sounded ambient and calm. The room was growing brighter as the fire approached the building, coming near the brightness of daylight. The boy and the girl didn’t notice the changes around them: they noticed only each other.
The boy felt the girl’s hands placed on his shoulder and waist. He rested his on the corresponding parts of her body, and the two began to step from side to side in unison. They did not know what they were doing, but only that it seemed like the natural reaction to the moment. The boy pulled the girl in closer, pressing their bodies together. Her heartbeat transmitted into his chest, compelling his heart to almost leap out of him. The entire time their bodies blended, the eyes of the boy and the girl were separate entities on another planet, unaware of the music, or the fire, or the forest.
The boy, with his hands on the upper and lower portions of her back, felt around her body as his interest bidded him. His right hand fell to meet the top of her buttocks, and he made out the shape of them in his mind. He proceeded to let his stare descend from the girl’s eyes to her neck. He went on, inspecting her collarbone, her chest, and finally her breasts. He could feel them pressed against him, but he wanted to satisfy his eyes more than anything. After he was satisfied, he climbed back up to her doe eyes, and they, too, returned from a bit of travel. The boy was in love with the girl, and there was no doubt about it.
The boy closed his eyes and leaned for a kiss. He tilted his head and felt their lips meet like colliding stars. For a few moments he rested and enjoyed the contact, but then he pulled away. The boy opened his eyes, and it seemed he had awaken into a new world. His surroundings were different now: brighter, happier, and livelier. There were no more plants in the building. The windows were intact and the vents were uncrowded. The room was illuminated by artificial light, and glitter and confetti came from reservoirs above them. To the boy’s surprise, they were not alone now, either. Couples of their age surrounded them, dancing as they were. They spun, twirled, and glided across the floor, painting a wonderful light show of youth and frivolity. They dressed like the boy and the girl, and for the first time, the two felt comfortable in their clothing. They felt like they belonged there, like they had always been there.
People entered and left the gymnasium, coming in alone, and leaving with a partner for the night. This cycle was not new, but every member of it thought it was the experience of a lifetime, the pinnacle of pleasure. When the couples danced, they did not dance as a new generation disillusioned with the traditions of the old. They felt that they were breaking free from fantasy and from illusion--the routines of daily life. This was the dance of the ages.
The boy told the girl that he loved her, and she responded with the same statement. Immediately they bumped into another spinning couple, and everyone laughed. They were showered with more confetti, this time coming from a stage on one end of the room. The couples on the floor turned and walked to the stage to see the musicians who were playing there. They cheered for band and shuffled in cadence with their music.
After a brief moment of intensity, the music gave way to a diminuendo. A member of the band, wearing white from head to toe, stepped forward and blew into a saxophone. The sound thereof was transcendent, and it instantly hypnotized the boy. His head swayed with the notes of the solo, and he looked to his right to see the girl. She, too, turned and looked into his eyes.
The boy leaned, kissed her, and closed his eyes once more. When he opened them again, he returned to the tumbledown building of before. There were no more people. The band and the glitter disappeared as well, but the girl remained the same. And she was all that he cared about.
The lovers continued to dance in the growing light and beautiful music. They did not notice it, but flames could be seen flickering in vents and windows. The doors by which they entered only offered a wall of fire for an exit. The room began to fill with smoke. The boy and the girl didn’t break their focus from one another. Their eyes, still bonded, pulled their faces inward until their lips met in a third kiss that did not end. This was the conclusion of their union as the fire, invading the room at last, swirled around them and sealed them in their love.