You think this is usual?
Hold your hands with tiny horses
Hold them, hold them kindly
Driving the horses across the frozen landscape was getting more difficult as the years went by. The winters were not kind. Even the summers brought frost. She could stare out the window of her decrepit castle of exile and still never see the encroaching horizon. She didn't have reasons for the things she did and didn't see the need for reasons. She would continue to drive the horses. She would continue not to search for anything and hide behind the drawn curtains of her room. She wanted this exile. She wanted to disappear. The weight was too heavy and she dismissed the power of her own shoulders. She had been to the edge of herself and knew how to stay just out of the reach of its icy fingertips. There was a way to survive. It meant giving up everything that really mattered to her. If she allowed herself distance from these things then no one could take her away. She could never again feel the loss. Through her hands slipped many things, but none of them mattered, so it was easy. She drowned herself in her own glass of wine and let them continue to take things from her. None of them mattered. She let them go. She pretended to fight. In the end she let them think they had won. They didn't even know the battlefield. They couldn't comprehend her rules.
He was a reluctant knight who flew out of town on the last flight departing. He held onto the straws he grasped so hard at for as long as he can, but they continued to slip away. So he released them all at once. He was on the last wing that flew beyond the horizon and rolled the dice on the craps table in the room behind the green door. He played out the hand he had been dealt. Once there were no more cards, he folded and took a bad deal. The last of his chips was drawn across the table and put into the house's coffers. He didn't mind. He had accomplished what he came for even though he didn't understand the rules. He didn't need to. He went home and he slept and he dreamed of her once more. She was lost on the other side of the horizon and he had no way to reach her.
When you shine so different on another?
You shine different on another
The rain never came. The land burned and was purified. He flew out on his wing once again and tried to make it rain. The power was slipping and he could feel it leaving him. He had stayed too long. He had stopped following the signs. All that he knew was being betrayed by his inability to embrace it. There was a new kind of fear. He was afraid that reading the blueprints and decoding the messages would drive him mad. There were already too many doubters and too many who had fallen by the wayside. He dismissed many because they no longer fit into the puzzle he was putting together. Now all he wanted was the one he left behind. He slept and he waited for her in his dreams. They were the one place where she still could still ride her horses into lands over which he could fly.
I look up and I see the raising of an old hope
Brave and tattered
A shining knight with shining eyes
Who shines around me brightly
It was true that he could no longer touch her, but the physical essence of things did not matter all that much any longer. The things he once lusted after and desired had lost their glimmer. He had exercised those passions with too many that only mattered in the instant they walked into his arms. None of them could ride the way she could. None of them could fly the way he did. His broken wings kept him aloft as her tired horses carried her across the tundra. She had become too cold. He had become too hard.
Pride was only one of their shared weaknesses. It was a tool they kept in its holster for when they needed it to survive. If she screamed in the middle of the night she wanted to be certain no one heard. Or at least no one that mattered. He spoke the truth when he slept and revealed too much. They were both alone in a way that no other person could change, except perhaps each other, but that was too frightening a proposition. They had to keep their distance. They had to have the apartness they needed to keep themselves from burning too quickly from the inside. It was too long of a walk to the waterline.
He could stand to lose anyone but her. While her memory lingered on the horizon of both the past and future it was easy to deal with the shifting tides of his ever-changing life. For her there was always the knowledge that she would disappoint him. He thought too highly of her and she thought so little of herself. The middle ground was unsteady and the rockslides of truth could bury them both in disappointment. The time was not yet right. She had too much still to do. She had too far yet to ride. Her wings were far too broken to carry her to where he was and his wings were growing too heavy to keep him aloft for much longer.
He couldn't be like other people no matter how hard he tried. She couldn't embrace other people no matter how hard she tried. There were distant memories they could both rely on. As long as she knew he was still out there she could continue to ride through her exile. He would light the sky on fire if it would serve as a beacon to the lone rider. She would extinguish the flames if it would help her hide from those who might storm her castle walls.
Moon you made me cry when I was young
And I was young
They had both been young once and could no longer be, in any interpretation of the world. The evils that had preyed on her in youth had to be kept constantly at bay. She could not open herself to the wounds that never healed. He was too strong and would try to heal her. He thought too much of himself. His ego helped him to believe he was strong enough to overcome any obstacles. He believed he could overcome hers. She knew that was why he would never surrender the ancient cause. When she looked out over the frozen fields and called to her horses she saw him at the bottom of her glass. There were too many reminders to truly forget.
Sometimes she felt like a human being. Sometimes he felt like a human being. There was still enough left that they could recover from their shared freefall. They both made love to women from time to time to help them feel beautiful again. They took something from them. They drank from their souls and waited and watched as their own beauty began to atrophy. The cycle continued. The flowers dried and their petals fell to the castle floor. Then they threatened to bloom once more.
And I say
"He belongs to me"
He belongs to me
He's a human bed of roses
And then he began to let things slip away because he refused to embrace anything that really mattered...
Lyrics sample from "Low Red Moon"
Written and copyright by Tanya Donnelly
Recorded and released on the album "Star" by Belly
Used in compliance with Fair Use