Story by Larry Dennis
Photography by Kenny Klein
GINA DEL RAY trips with her classmates.
"Careful with that axe, Eugene..."
On a mountain meadow beneath the summer sun Gina Del Ray spread out a large blanket and set out the baskets. She took a camera from her bag and then from a basket came shiny new realities she handed out to her friends. Michael was to be a pirate and Kristi a clown. Amara and Betty were sisters from opposite dimensions, Kathryn, a nymph from Nebraska and Fairy, well, was a fairy, that was obvious. Gina Del Ray gently gave to each in their heads a life to live and there began a gorgeous afternoon of party and play.
"I don't want to take from you. I don't want to be evil." In Michael the touch melted and flowed and coursed.
"Neither good nor evil, you are what you are."
And what he was in this moment, beneath the sun there on the stone, was a pirate lying in wait for rape and plunder to come along for his taking.
"Do you have to walk so fast?" Kathryn wheezed as she struggled into the meadow.
"I walk in step with the world."
Michael rose as Kathryn neared and he lived through various lives. He was on the deck of ship in the vastness of oceans.And then a scoundrel with the ear of a King. Now a murderer shoving his long steel blade into Kathryn's chest over and over again; that reality being broken up by Kathryn slapping his pawing hand away from her breast and saying, "Let go of that, Buster! You aren't getting that for free!"
"What do mean?" Michael asked. "I'm a pirate. I take what I please."
"Well, you aren't taking this. Where I come from," Nebraska, "you gotta pay before you get any."
"A ransom? A tribute?"
"And what, dear lass, would be the price this pirate must pay to lay you down here on the grass in all your nakedness?"
"You got a class ring?"
"Letterman's jacket I could wear for awhile?"
"How about two incomes and a Chevy Impala for the next seven years of my life?"
"No. But I could get them."
And there in the grass beneath the sun that afternoon they melted.
"How can I be the clown?" she asked. "I don't know what to do."
"The answer to that," said Gina Del Ray, "is to abandon yourself to joy."
"I don't know if I can find joy."
"Abandon yourself, and joy will find you."
"Cease to be you. Be someone else. Be nature. Open all your senses and let nature come into you. See it, smell it, feel it with your skin.
"Where do I start?"
"Across the meadow, there. In the grasses along the creek."
But as Kristy started off across the meadow to seek joyful abandonment she was stopped by Gina Del Ray.
"Leave your clothes here."
There existed between Amara and Betty in their opposite dimensions, several moments of shared events. Childhood, years together in public schools. Their fathers worked together at the same factory for years. But specifically, the event the two girls shared was an ex-boyfriend who, in that infamous way he had, brought Amara and Betty together and made them friends..
Fairy is fairy. Gina had no need giving Fairy a new reality because Fairy is the true essence of life itself. She seeks to be nothing more than what she is. She is only happiness and she is only joy.
Fairy is the light we all follow, as Gina and her classmates had followed that day, there in the meadow behind the barn.
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