And I say to him I am afraid I can't put up with it anymore. And he gives me a half-bored, half-quizzical, half-I-know-where-this-is-leading look. (I know I have put three halves in there and that such a thing is logically not possible but that is hardly the point and he knows better than to argue about that right now.)
And he also knows that the thing I think I simply cannot put up with anymore has nothing to do with him. I am only scared the well may have run dry and that I may have not a single story left in me and that I don't want to turn to the big, bad world out there for inspiration because it is a world filled with mean people who do not believe in stories and fairness, I sob to him.
And so he says he will take me to a place where all my miseries (both real and imagined, he mocks) and all of the world's problems will disappear. He blindfolds me and leads me through many places and like a tour guide he keeps up a commentary on the destination as we go. But as far as I am concerned the only thing that appears real to me right now is that I am stumbling through a dark, unlit passage that seems to never end, and I fervently pray he never lets go of my hand.
It is a forgotten place, he says, the place he is leading me to. People know it exists but no one really remembers it does. Like houses not lived in for centuries. No one ever goes in or out. But if you look hard enough, you will see lights shining from the windows as if the house were having its own personal sunrise after the rest of the world has turned in for the night, he says.
I am walking more steadily now, my hand in his, and I trust he will keep me from falling as I lose myself in his narration. He asks me what I'd like to see when I reach there, this forgotten place. I am beginning to like the game he is playing, and so I play along and answer fairy lights. He says I will not be disappointed.
A few steps ahead, he slows down and reveals this is as far as he can go but that I must carry on. Only a few more steps, he insists. I hesitate at first but having come this far I do not want to return without knowing where it was we were headed in the first place.
I push ahead, guided by my senses now there is no storyteller to lead me on the path. The air is crisp and wintry. I hear the leaves and twigs crack under my feet. Night creatures are playing their music and singing their songs, and I don't feel lonely. I keep thinking of the fairy lights I want to see.
When I know I have arrived, I open my eyes and see a million tiny lights floating all around me. Little green pinpricks of light shining, gliding, disappearing, then reappearing elsewhere in the dark, as if bobbing about to the music of the creatures of the night.
I turn to tell him I know where I am.
I know this is my happy place.