this story is told many times. and in the past, there has always been disappointment when fondness leads to courtesy, when patience gives way to fervour, when composure is forgotten with reckless abandon... but for what? what, indeed, can substitute for the calculative and serene, that was and is this child of a man? perhaps being told often and invariably changes the outcome of this story - but that is highly unlikely.
asks, the boy that, 'i would know that your stature is beyond mine, that it is folly to ask for an eagle to walk when it can soar, or a star to dim, when its nature is to shine so intensely. and how could anyone contend that a mother of pearl, even beached by tumultuous waves upon a scarred beach, is anything less than iridescent and beauteous - that it is almost sacred and perfect?'
'may it not that even mountains succumb to wind, to sleet, to rain and to snow; that even the moon may take precedence to the sun; that flowers of every colour and texture may still wither and die to give way to the longest winter, if only to bud and bloom again; that even stars may give eternal heat, only, in one final, blazing glory, to pass into the darkest that not only is void thereof, but takes from all light?'
'would it not that perhaps you could find what you need before what you seek, and it is nowhere lacking?'
but, to this, the ephemeral would reply, 'mayhap you should take some time to yourself, and when aeons have passed, and even time has begun to die, come again that your beseeched be addressed.'
so went he. and thought he. and pondered he. and doubted he. and consolidated he. and refuted and considered and debated and introspected, until finally, all that the boy was left with was one, unyielding, unequivocal, unquestionable devotion - that this path of fulfilment was one of virtue, of fullness and of purity: something that is not easily said for any matter.
but asks, 'how answer you now? that i have been and come to be?'
then, riposte with silence.
'perhaps now, if i were to bear with symbolism? or write with words that shame my own?'
'which wonder, what maybe...'
'do you not see, that my not having answered is the answer you seek?'
'forgive me, then,' says this humble boy. 'do not mistake that i am foolish or naive or incompetent, that i do not understand your silence for what it is.'
'then why ask you persistently, when you claim to know of what i mean to say?'
'i ask not because i do not heed your rejection.
'i ask not because i demand an answer.
'i ask not because i am thick and blunt and coarse and stupid.
'i ask not to be bothersome or uncourteous or ungentlemanly.'
'i ask because if i do not, then there is no chance for reconciliation. and even knowing that when i do ask, that chance is made from nil to infinitesimally small and irrelevant; yet still i ask, for this chance is all i have. all i hope for. all i deserve. which is more than i can say for you.'
dear reader, worry not for the fate of this boy. if there is any justice in destiny, in preordination, in luck, or in chance, then it will come to be that one day, there need be no asking, and answers will neither be warranted, nor necessary.