She believed in magic. When she was small, she remembered the coin slipping seamlessly from one hand to behind her ear in seconds. She laughed. It was funny and yet disturbing to know she had been, unbeknownst to her, harboring a fugitive coin about the same size as her little ear.
She believed in magic when the words on a page exalted and surprised her. When the tale of perfect Romeo and Juliet love ended in tragedy and she was left reeling with the certainty of uncertainty. When that tree that grew in Brooklyn reached her Queens bedroom and she could hide in its branches with Francie and Neeley and leave the bitter one-bedroom apartment she lived in to find delight in words, to dance with someone else’s memories.
She believed in magic when she went to university and she could get lost in thoughts and ideas and words. She read and felt and digested and coughed up half truths and experiences that her fledling adulthood could not yet carry but it was the stuff that fed her.
She still believed in magic when she met him one night in drunken revelry somewhere in the middle of the country after a day and a half train ride to the mouth of a dirty river. How could it be that a coincidence so perfect could be so wrong? – but she didn´t know that yet – she knew it was mythical in that sweaty swamp in February when she looked at her shoe and noticed the snow salt still stuck to it, a remnant of a far-away city and far-away life.
Magic brought him to her in the city that never sleeps and gave her the way out of a crazy woman´s unstable world and into her own. The christmas tree he pushed her into wasn´t magic though, it fell and gave way unleashing tiny balls of glass which broke into shards that stayed in her feet for weeks.
Nights and fights with broken promises, broken words, broken bottles and lamps overturned and that magic was harder to find. She had always been hopeful but the years caught up to her and harder realities unleashed harsher truths that couldn´t be run from, not anymore. Maybe that was magic, but she didn´t know it then.
She had to save herself and getting lost in clouds and crowds didn´t stop the world from turning, her from turning, her bitterness into something that could be hopeful. To find the magic in tragedy, to let her Romeo die so she could live on.
So she came to the land where magical realism was born, where biographies and myths are one and the same and the only way to get it is to be it, immerse herself from top to bottom with the idea that there is no understanding the “is” of our existence.
The magic comes with responsibility now, it forces her to look, but not too closely, to trust in her heart and move even when the earth is quaking and her soul shaking. The secret to the myth is knowing she will find it, even when everything in her tells her it is lost in this too big world.