Love is a pop song. It’s sentimental and radio friendly. It’s smooth and slick and bright and shiny. That’s what some people believe.
In truth, though, It’s a graveyard song, a drunken chant, a rising wail. It’s a Transylvanian dirge played on out-of-tune cellos. It’s a country and western song about train wrecks and widows? weeds. It’s the sound of a violin playing a lullaby for banshees somewhere deep down inside the shaft of an abandoned silver mine.
We walk through life with the steady gaze, the reassuring smile. These composed faces we present to the world are the outward reflections of our inner lives. That’s what some people would have you believe.
The truth is, they are masks we’ve stitched together from scraps of material. We’ve stayed up long into the night, stitching together fragments, shaping and melting wax. Take away these masks, and you’ll see us for what we really are. You’ll see the shadow and the bone, the hair all matted with blood. You’ll smell the rotten breath, the stink of fear and decay. You’ll see the wild, frightened eyes; the curved teeth, yellow and sharp. You’ll see the brutal fairy tales of our lives engraved in scar-tissue runes.
The place where we live is quiet suburb with green lawns and neatly trimmed hedges. There are bungalows with satellite dishes. There are flowerbeds and shopping malls, office buildings and gated communities. On Saturdays everyone goes shopping; on Sundays It’s off to church. This is what some people choose to believe.
In truth, though, It’s a dying city, a haunted city. It’s a city that knows a thing or two about the sea, like Venice. Or Atlantis. There are ghostly lights floating just beneath the surface of the cold black water. There is the constant threat of flooding. Every time the moon is full, the ocean reclaims the buildings and roads. It rises up to the ceilings of the libraries and museums, the concert halls and discos. Ancient mummies and bloated bodies in fashionable clothing are floating down the twisting narrow streets.
The nighttime is just the absence of light. That is what some people need to believe. You lie in bed at night and tell yourself there is nothing there that was not there before you turned out the light. You have no secrets to hide. You ignore what you know to be true. You disregard the strangeness of your dreams.