The truth is I knew it from the beginning. All of it, that it was destined for a bad end. I’m sure there are people that would say that I made it happen by thinking that. But see, I’m really over what people say. I’ve got bigger things to listen to. I kept looking back at the three years Preta and I spent in hell together wondering why I stayed. I had no reason to end up in a relationship like that. I should have known better, the things is there isn’t a type of person who gets abused. You don’t avoid it by having a ‘good upbringing’, ‘loving parents’, a 4.1 GPA. I don’t know why I thought that you did. Maybe it was just another way of looking for sense in a whirling chaotic universe that didn’t give a shit about how much I needed it to all mean something.
“Marry me? For Standing Rock, for the wars, for the end of everything. Marry me so there is something good left in this world for me to believe in?” Snow’s eyes were bright with tears the day that I asked her to marry me. It was the middle of the night, a night that was darker than a sky with no moon. I hadn’t laughed in weeks. I hadn’t smiled in longer. The night that Snow and I plan our wedding her eyes are surrounded my crinkles of joy and the laughter fills my room until our sides ache. We write invitations and vows and find our rings on Etsy and I can’t believe that I made it here. I remember the feeling, all through me, like I wouldn’t make it. I remember falling in love with the world, with life but not because I stopped feeling like I wouldn’t make it. I didn’t start living because I won the fight. I stopped fighting it. I know I will likely die by my own hand, probably young. I feel that day in the pull of me. But I know I am infinite. Waiting for death is only waiting for birth. The stream of energy in me is ever green, like jack pines through the winter and it pulls me. I long to return home to the universe. I remember the feeling all through me, like ecstasy.
I didn’t tell anyone about the wedding, not my parents, not one of my four siblings, not my friends. I knew that none of them would understand and I didn’t want to explain it to them. On January sixteenth I watched the planes of Manitoba through the backseat window as the snow blew across the road like white northern lights and thought about Snow. Her brown eyes that were the home to so much life. That sparkled most of the times with a mischievous glimmer that I couldn’t imagine my life without. Her pointy bones sticking me when we hugged tight. Her slender fingers that had held mine for years, through the times when I was isolated by Preta, the times when I was sick on misery and insecurity. Through all of it she was out there, way out there, stolidly her bizarre self, the magnetic north to me leading me back to myself time and time again. My older sisters might call our wedding childish or unnecessary. My brothers wouldn’t get it. The world won’t get it. But it doesn’t matter. Snow gets it. I get it. I don’t care that marriage is only supposed to be for romantic partners. Snow is my family and tonight I take her in the laws of the universe as my own spirit and opinions of others be cast aside. She is the one that understands.
“I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars! I am a child of the universe and I am unafraid of myself!” With my arms outstretched to the sky I yell the words into the silence of the winter woods. It’s so quiet here in winter, it grows on you slowly creeping into you until you fear the stillness will drive you mad and then the birds and bugs bust back and suddenly there is humming and buzzing and gurgling and twittering everywhere. No one knows silence, it’s value and its madness the way northerners do. Snow shrieks at me.
“Wooohooo!” I laugh, my face moving into patterns of happiness that have become so familiar. Angelica scoops me up from behind, his arms surrounding me and swinging me into the air.
“I’m not going to bow down anymore! I’m not going to pretend to me someone I’m not! Come what may, I shall not back down!” I yell. Angelica and Snow are whooping enough for an entire band of hooligans. I look up at Angelica, his eyes are the blue that they turn in sunlight and his cheeks are red from the cold air. Our lips are cold but our breath is warm. I can feel the cold sterling silver of my wedding ring on my right hand. This is my family. I had to accept that there were things that my blood could never understand about me. They can only take you so far. I have to stand on my own feet now. I have to find my own ground. They will never know me or the why I do the things I do. Why I choose to live my life this way. I will always love them, I will always be thankful for what they have brought into my being but I can’t be who I am under their shadows.
“Long live Klaus!” Snow punches the air and Angelica lets out a war cry. My name is Klaus Castor, I am an above average student, a slightly lost pantheist and I might be melodramatic and I might be missing the point the way people say I am but then again, I might be from the moon and I might be brilliant the way my people say I am. I believe that fairies steal my socks in the hours of the morning right before the sun comes up. I believe that spirits order my tarot cards when I read them. I believe that when Snow and I end up on the floor in tears for some joke she made we are burning with the same flame. I believe that I inherited my soul from the blood of my ancestors and with it a slew of God knows what. I believe I belong here, on this tiny beautifully insignificant blue planet. I think Keith Moon was a genius and Douglas Adam wasn’t all together human. I don’t know if ADHD is just another way to Gemini and I’m willing to bet my weight in roses that everyone has a fifty fifty chance to end up being weirder than you thought they were going to be. That is the truth.
On the Lunar New Years Eve the three of us got drunk on music and too much dancing and then watched 80’ds movies until two in the morning. I lay in the dark and tried to imagine where I would be without them. What would have happened to me if I never left Preta. There in the dark I thanked my guiding lights that I didn’t have to find out. I could never have imagined who I would become even seven weeks ago. Yet somehow, here I am. In the arms of the universe. The happiest I’ve ever been in my life. This business of growing up is hard, isn’t it? Hard and never ending.