I wrote this story about 10 years or so ago and decided to share it here.
I met Jericho in a time and place that no longer exist. The people we were are long since gone. Now they drift through time and space in a place that I call memory or perhaps it is just my imagination. If you ask Jericho she’d probably push for imagination. She’d want to say that what I remember has been obscured by my own desire for the future. She’d tell you that it was never as good as I remember it.
But if you took her aside and caught her in one of those moments she’d admit that it was exactly the way I remember. She’d admit that as the queen of low expectations it is easier to think of things that way. She’d tell you that to really remember is too painful, too tragic. So old Jericho set up those walls, long and tall, deep and wide.
She lies in wait behind those walls waiting for the future to come. She lies behind those walls and watches the days pass in front of her. There are some really happy times, some good moments that make her think that she can do this for a while. Good things come and she smiles and thinks that life might not be exactly what she wants it to be, but for now this will work.
And me, well I stand outside and stare at the wall. I stand and look and wonder how they grew to be so tall. Too stubborn or too dumb to give up I continue my assault upon them. Every day I look for a way to breach them. Every day I search for a nook or cranny that I can use to start weakening more sections.
Sometimes I see Jericho looking out at me. Sometimes I see her staring at me, a wistful smile on her face. Sometimes I catch her shaking her head. She wonders if I am going to continue to live in denial about the circumstances that placed us here. But I think that she knows that I am not the sort to give up. I…keep….moving…forward….
I have a mental diary of the tactics I have used to try and breach Jericho’s walls. There was a frontal assault that was used to try and gauge the strength of the defenses. Some progress was made by eventually the defense asserted itself and we withdrew. There were flanking movements that had minor success, but still didn’t amount to much. An attempt to climb over failed as did the tunnel beneath.
In between the attempts I have continued to pepper Jericho with reminders of what could be and paintings of the dream. It has been slow going, but I am ultimately a patient man. Those walls will come down, of that I am certain. What I had to remind myself was that Jericho erected those walls for a reason. I may disagree with the reason, but the smart move is to bide my time.
A well planned siege can work. There is no need to plan my own D-Day.
So I remind myself that the current situation is just a moment in time. A moment in time that can become nothing more than a memory or it can become reality. With this in mind I have made a point of mixing up my tactics. Sometimes I withdraw all of my forces and take some R&R. Inevitably Jericho’s natural curiosity drives her out of the tower and she engages in her own reconnaisance. She always finds me.
Life may be a series of random acts but some things seem to be more than coincidence. It is a discussion that Jericho and I have had more than once. One day I suppose I’ll have the chance to look back upon this life and determine whether I was right or wrong about that belief.
In the meantime you can find me at my post watching and waiting. One day, one way or another those walls are going to come tumbling down.