An Accidental Prose Poem / by Deidra Dallas

I have nothing much important to say tonight except to share that I feel perfectly at peace.

I am sitting in my living room lit only by a candle in an old wine bottle with a gigantic wooden wick that is throwing off just enough light for me to see to write. The familiar feel of the pen sliding smoothly across paper, homemade paper that fills the leather journal I sometimes spill my thoughts into, is essentially all that is guiding my hand.

It is dusk, and very nearly dark, so just the faintest of blue light is peeking through the windows. It will be a navy blue soon and then just the candle or the muscle memory of pen across paper won’t be enough to see.

It is enough light for dreaming though.

The road noise of passing cars and the occasional eighteen wheeler mingles with the sound of the candle popping, the light bouncing off the wick and into a larger circle against the wall. In the back room, my dogs occasionally readjust themselves, nails clicking on tile, breaths coming out in relaxed huffs of contentment.

This is the music of my house. It is soft, calming. Sometimes it is too quiet, and I crank it up with singing or television. I skate through the house pretending I am a ballerina or a company member in a Broadway play. Sometimes my dogs and I are characters in movies and television shows, inserting ourselves into storylines as we binge the latest episodes of a myriad of shows or become enthralled again in the dystopian universe of The Hunger Games.

But just now this near silence is the perfect sound for dreaming.

Tonight I am also perfectly alone. I have not spoken aloud, nor have I been spoken to in hours. Nobody else’s thoughts or actions have infringed upon my own. I have not even conversed via text messaging.

Not every night is like this. Some nights I long to hear my best friend’s laughing children or the sounds my mother makes while she is cleaning the kitchen after a family meal. Sometimes I need to sit in perfect silence with my best friend, our feet propped up on the porch railing outside her house with just the light from the dim string of lights she has decoratively draped on the small table that holds our coffee.

But tonight, I am lonely -- the perfect kind of lonely for dreaming.

This quiet, this dark, this loneliness is what I crave. I do not wish for anything different than to hear the sputter of my candle mixed with the whir of tires on asphalt outside my window. I have no desire for sight beyond the circle cast onto the wall of my living room from my candle. I want no one here to sit beside me and interrupt my dreaming.

My dreams of Paris -- visiting Gertrude Stein’s house and walking the same cobbled streets she and Fitzgerald and Hemingway and Picasso once strode.

Of England and the grave of Anne Boleyn, the birthplace of Shakespeare, the home of Austen and so many other castles and homes and pubs and schools I cannot possibly begin to name them all, but I can feel their names echoing in my soul.

Dreams of my home being filled with all the people I can only imagine -- Anne Shirley and Hermione Granger, the crew of the Firefly, Mr. Darcy and Jon Snow. They sit quietly with me in my darkening living room, sharing a laugh at some inside joke and asking nothing more from me other than to continue dreaming them into existence.

There are other characters; characters I alone have dreamed. I spend time with them in the quiet, too, asking them questions about their hopes and regrets so that I can encase their souls in ink.

My dreams are silly, illogical, fanciful. But all I wish for this evening is to continue sitting here, enveloped now in the navy of the night with only the flicker of the candlelight to illuminate and fill the silence. And my pen. Always my pen.

So I have nothing much important to say tonight except that I am perfectly at peace. And I hope beyond anything I could ever hope for in this world that you know peace as I know peace alone in my home. And that you find it, often.

Which perhaps is, in fact, something terribly important to say.