The universe is all about space and time and their contents.
The universe is like a container, or better to say, a lot of containers one into another; just like the typical Russian doll called Matryoshka.
The universe is the container that makes everything possible.
Just being as it is. Existent.
In the universe, the role for which the holding of things is made possible, is called communion.
The complementary sense of things. No one like the other, no one more or less important than the other. All together in the common attempt to be. All proud to be.
The only way to make it possible is to find the right way to make things happen. We need to find the way because the instinct is lost, and the sense dull. That form of primitivity, that allowed us to automatically privilege what is required in a spontaneous discipline, is long gone. The instinct is a thing of the past. So, every day we need to try and fight to maintain on tracks the train that everything contains and represents. The Universe.
Aphro met Hybris in a garden, the garden. He, Aphro, was a brown male bulldog with an enormous sense of duty, and a rigorous respect for everybody’s rights. He was a particular fella. Not interested in showing his strength or muscles, to define his role as the neighborhood boss. Lo-and-behold, he was not even interested in stating continuously his being a male dog. He was really upset by everything that represents a label, a cage.
Being a male dog is a matter of fact, he used to say; I don’t need to show it. For that reason, from long time he was wearing a pink collar.
Hybris was a wonderful short haired white kitten. She was mostly in a garden where a lot of species used to play, talk and enjoy life together. There were big horses, talking donkey, gossip birdies and friendly insects. All together for the wellbeing of their heaven, as they called it.
The first time Aphro arrived there, he was literally gobsmacked. He never saw in life a thing like that. Hybris was not the queen of the situation. Not at all, ladies and gentlemen. She was the only white kitten running around with her tail perpetually and elegantly outstretched upwards. She was there to welcome anyone, representing herself, and just herself. Accepting who was ready to do the same. Being their own representation trying to fit the global picture.
Aphro fell in love the very instant he saw her.
She was very amused by him. He arrived at the garden because of a friend: Leopard. A fortune-teller donkey, who refused to belong to the donkey breed, starting dressing animal printed clothes, leopard inspired. Aphro loved to listen to his stories. The dog met the donkey at the village while he was carrying an enormous wicker basket full of eggs. Leopard was helping the human of the farm. That was what he did for a roof and two meals, but what he was proud of was the ability of a fortune-teller.
It was in one of their meeting, that Leopard described Aphro The Heaven. The garden where nobody lives permanently, but where everybody enjoys. The rule to be admitted was to be an escapee from cages, home gardens, stables, zoo, farms, etc… and make sure not to be followed, especially by narrow-minded shadows.
Aphro, once there, went straight to Hybris to greet her, thank her, and tell her about his motto: I’m different and mad, no fear.
Hybris laughed a lot, adding that it was a beautiful way to approach the reality, but reminding him he wouldn’t need it there in the garden. Because nobody was fearing anybody, and their motto was free expression, pride to be. Aphro was excited about it. It was exactly what he wanted to hear, Leopard described the mood there as a free atmosphere, but he couldn’t hope for that much. So, to him, the dream of conquering the kitten was closer every minute more. He was super happy now that he knew some of the stupid barriers had been torn down. Aphro was trying his best to attract Hybris, and he was constantly visiting Leopard the donkey, just to know if he, in his crystal ball, could see any progress in his attempts. Asking the brown frog permission, a latino frog who used to take care of the pond, he drove Hybris on a water lily boat for a romantic journey where he kissed her for the first time.
Everything was coming idyllically until one day, when the humans discovered The Heaven.
The thing that all the animals were there together upset the group with forks and torches, who was there to free the zone from the savages. Those who could, ran or flew quickly; Leopard was captured and brought back to the farm, Hybris disappeared in a cage into the back of a van, and Aphro, with his heart in a thousand pieces, had to look at the scene. His beloved dragged away from him.
He, in a cage together with a married couple of male lovebirds, was conducted to the village square where he used to meet Leopard. The trio, after being kept locked in a garage for a couple of days, ended up on the countertop of an animal seller at the local village market.
“Have you seen how they look at us? Why do they grimace, making funny smiles and whistle at us?” Asked Steve, one of the two lovebirds.
“I don’t really know, darling,” said Marvin, the other lovebird, “all I know is, I feel like an onion on the greengrocer countertop.” The cage was so big that Aphro was inside with them, sitting silently at the bottom.
“Be careful what you do up there, there’s myself down here!” Aphro said suddenly.
The trio was laughing, the birds whistling, the dog barking.
“Why are they looking at us, so, I wonder…” Marvin asked.
From the bottom Aphro’s voice, “they live a world of differences, my friend. They are always comparing, judging, applying nonsense to things that have sense for definition.”
“You mean, they lie?” Marvin was interested and instantly also Steve paid attention.
“I mean, they are slaves of their false humility, accustomed to cover cruelty, calling it morality. We were disturbing their false concept of acceptance and welcoming. Because they can’t accept what it does not link to the chain. They used to lock inspiration and whip freedom.
They don’t accept; they call freedom of expression, promiscuity. Of course, not all of them; broadly. But the ones here today do for sure.”
“So, they can’t feel us?” asked Steve, puzzled.
“It’s not even a matter of feeling anymore, because with them you’re not free to feel, and they are not interested in feelings. You need to be ashamed of yourself, and your way to be, perpetually. A mask of shame to cover everything and deliver free cruelty.”
“Oh, that’s strong!” Said Marvin.
“Yes buddy, they are proud to be ugly.” Concluded Aphro.
The trio went back into a mayhem of barking and whistling.
At one point the scenario changed swiftly, when a lady and her daughter started interacting with another lady, pointing at Steve and Marvin with the finger.
Aphro looking at the scene said firmly, “be ready, my friends! As soon as she opens the door, you go!!”
“What?!” said Marvin as the humans were approaching menacingly.
“Be ready to go!” Repeated Aphro while one lady put the hands on the cage door.
Once she opened the door, Aphro pushed forward, making the cage swing violently. In an abrupt slam of wings, the two lovebirds frightened the ladies, flying rapidly out of the door. While the women were nose up trying to catch the birds, Aphro ran out of the cage, passing between the legs of one of them. They were free.
The dog ran across the square faster than he could, passing under the countertop of the vendors, arriving at a wooden door of a warehouse where he entered to hide.
With his great surprise, he found a lot of his former pals and gals from The Heaven.
Karl the beagle who said to be a painter able to paint nudes of human women, Angie the opera singer horse, his friend Leopard the donkey, the glam turtle John, with the shell painted in glitters, Geraldine and Sylvia the two intellectual monkeys always in love… almost everyone, except for her.
His eyes were running everywhere, but she was missing. A tear ran down his cheek.
“Have you seen Hybris?” he asked Tom, the former drummer cat, now a Buddhist guru.
“She will arrive, Aphro, she will arrive like the dawn and the sunset, fear that not.” He replied with a baritone voice. His partner Josh, a Muslim cat, nodded with a pat on the dog’s back.
Aphro, feeling down and desperate, went to a corner making a donut of himself, while the others were getting ready for a party.
While he was near to fall asleep exhausted, he smelled the perfume. The magic moment he was waiting for. Hybris was there in front of him. The following moments were the description of magic, the exact picture to describe love feelings, the making of a myth. What the universe was made for, and of.
The two, finally together, were aware of the danger. They couldn’t try to recreate The Heaven there, at the warehouse. The humans were just out of the door, with their cargo of judgment, hypocrisy, and false beliefs.
They had to dedicate their strength and love to the cause, and help things to get mature. Preparing the road to infinity. Helping the rights to become a powerful voice, a pride destined to last forever.
For that reason, they left the warehouse, not before some recommendations to the others. They would have to be back, stronger than before, with the knowledge and the power, and the road to be ready to be.
They started what they called the journey of love. They were ready to be recognized as the ones who at least tried to make some voices heard.
The first huge trouble was with the council. Hanging around with their words of peace and tolerance like preachers, the others considered them as strays. For that reason, they were risking to be deported. They had to choose the clandestinity, making it a privilege. Being illegal, violating a law, with no sense.
Aphro, in the early days of their adventure, started proclaiming the inutility of laws of discrimination. They made them to forbid freedom. To restrict the liberty to be. In this, he added his personal decision to be represented by nothing else than himself, avoiding gender labels.
For that the humans didn’t have a law, but they had an instrument. A Mask.
Making people ashamed was the right way to stop them. Confining them in exclusive clubs and places, making them think it was the right thing to do. Discriminating them, instead.
Little cherry on the sundae, they were an odd couple, a dog and a cat. There was no place for them to be accepted.
Hybris was reflecting there were not just humans to be considered as the others, but also animals. The ones who refused to recognize their right to be a couple were not just humans.
Aphro thought she was right, stopping calling them the others, thinking it was more appropriate to call them the multitude.
Hybris proclaimed herself the first anti-multitude, the cat out of the bunch, proud to be. Her aim would have been to dissolve deception, showing the truth about love, free from shame.
Love and be loved, free from shame! Repeated Aphro.
The streets were deaf initially. They were monsters, or freaks. Someone thought they were just looking to be popular or extravagant, but the more they were fighting, the more they were learning too. The multitude needed to be fathomed. How many were real? How many were covered by the mask of shame? Helpless, abandoned, in need to be discovered and helped to come out.
To help the cause, Hybris wore a dog carton mask. They were hanging around with her masked. Approaching the multitude, she used to state it was the only way to love freely her partner, in front of the fake-lovers, the protectors of the shame.
But she was also offering them an alternative. She used to call it the lesson of truth. Whoever wanted to assist would have seen what was the meaning of acceptation.
In front of a couple of old dogs involved, she lifted the mask, showing her beautiful kitten snout. Once sure the audience was aware of the fact she was a cat, she kissed Aphro loudly.
This is the actual face of love!
The couple of dogs remained in awe. Perhaps for age or different interests, the theme sustained and defended by Aphro and Hybris surprised them. They thought it was easier for the youngster to be respected in their choice.
Thus, they followed the dog and the cat, giving their sustenance to the cause. In Aphro’s mind, the multitude was reduced, just by two members, but reduced. He smiled, proud of their beginning.
Because their followers were the first ones, they thought they deserved to know more about The Heaven. It was the place where they were headed to once their message would have been extended to the multitude. Now they were much happier to follow them, in sight of the promise land.
We are going to a place where silence is filled with love. Where you can be proud to be yourself. Leave the mask of shame, stop delivering cruelty, be yourself and be proud of it! Hybris was dancing along the road.
She was continuing, showing all those who wanted to see the kiss scene without the mask. Mathematically who assisted was struck by the power of the concept. Unable to ignore it.
In a few miles, the couple was followed by bees and ants, horses and donkeys, turtles and lizards, and a few couples of human teenagers. Also, the warehouse rebels were together with them now. They heard about the popularity of the couple, reaching them to join the venture.
The multiplication of followers transformed their proclamation into a statement.
The parade was a jubilee of differences, breeds, ideas, languages, skin colours and fur colors and lengths.
Those shades and tastes that make the globe a perfect place, a rainbow of colours to enhance what differently represents the human nature, the individual.
Grateful to be a part of it, respectful of everyone’s differences.
On the way to the garden there were a lot of them, all dancing and singing; those who could were raising the arms to the sun, the magic witness. The eye in the sky, the warmth on the earth.
After the last hill they arrived, the open space still there with the abandoned farm ready to welcome them overnight. The place was quiet, free from any menace.
It was just the beginning, though.
While everybody was happy, busy in finding an angle and transform it into a place for them to share with the others, Hybris had a thought, hugging Aphro.
Now they were there, ready for this new life as they wanted, but the challenge was still ongoing. The next level was expanding that place, its features and most of all, its concept to the rest of the earth.
A boundless Heaven, where to transform false shame into genuine pride.
Proud to be, proud to exist, and free to love with pride.
James Marchiori is an Italian born, Dublin based poet and writer. He wrote his first verses at nine years old, and since then, being part of prestigious cultural organizations, he has been collecting various literary awards across Italy, London, Barcelona, and Prague. He’s also been awarded at the European Parliament in Brussels for one of his poems. At twenty-one years old he published his first book of selected poems and, by his 28th birthday, other two poetry anthologies and short stories were out. His professional career brought him around the world from London to Los Angeles and New York, but he never stopped writing and studying philosophy and literature always taking tons of notes with him, no matter where his job experiences were heading to. His last novel, ‘To My Beloved Heart’ is a tribute to the master, Edgar Allan Poe, his primary source of inspiration, and 2019 will also see his first English collected poems anthology; he’s also currently working on a crime story set in Dublin, Ireland, with fragments of gothic, occult and supernatural elements. Bohemia incarnate, a soul devoted to Surrealism and Poetry.