Monday, December 2, 2013

Lonesome Love

Caleb Crowley was a rare soul, no doubt. He seemed to know from the beginning what he wanted to do in life. He never entertained that question of what best to do. He was a born actor. A master of improvisation. But Caleb would be the first to tell you that his art would never have been realized and expressed, if not for Alison Morrissey. She was, hands down, the one playwright and director who could bring out every nuance of his dramatic art. She defined him over and over, and in the most astonishing ways at times. It was a magical coupling from the first moment of their meeting one night long ago. And from that moment on, he performed exclusively her wildest imaginings.

Most of the performances that Caleb Crowley and Alison Morrissey pulled off were in the dead of night. It seemed she was at her best then, and so was he. Caleb lived for these times with her. He cherished every meeting, and came to her like an amorphous lump of clay to be shaped by her brilliant mind. And she seemed always able to cast him into a character and role that invariably was unique and unexpected. She could bring forth in him ways of acting, of being, that he could never have anticipated or imagined. And they both seemed to feed on this reciprocal fulcrum of their respective souls. They seemed to fan in each other some extraordinary fire. Some shared divine madness. Some folly a deux.

And yet, Alison Crowley was quite the recluse. She seemed to have an uncanny knack for coming and going unobserved. Not an easy thing for one living in a tony neighborhood in mid-town Manhattan. Caleb was even more of a phantom, it seems. No one claimed to know him. Yet people talked about the two of them all the time.

Caleb always came to Alison seemingly fearless of how she might cast him. He had some inner confidence he could be whatever she proposed. She would cast him as her lover now and then. Each time was different, but he always seemed to know the way she needed to be held. He knew her perhaps better than she knew herself. What to say, what to do, came as instinctively as a knee jerk to the thump of a doctor's mallet. He never questioned the roles she envisioned for him, he just carried them out flawlessly. Even when she needed him to be cruel. A beast. He seemed capable of being a stranger one night, even though they had been lovers the night before.

Somehow it seemed inevitable that when Alison Morrisey met her untimely accident, Caleb would die too. It was more than fitting. It was an inevitability. Caleb had never lived without her. He had existed only because of her imaginings. Her dreams. Caleb was nothing more than the invention of Alison Morrisey's mind as she lay night after night lost to sleep. And in the moment of that fatal accident on some nameless corner of the city where she lay dying, Caleb was there hiding inside her, holding her, and dying with her.

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