Well Met By Moonlight - Page 11

“And who exactly is doing the moaning on and on here?” she asked with an arch of her brows.

“Um . . .” I stammered before lamely venturing, “No offense?”

“None taken,” she answered with a touch of stiffness.

Unfortunately that very response brought up some figurative old ghosts of relationships past with me, and I reacted poorly . . . with poorly being a euphemism for “childishly.”

“It's not a perfect system,” I said with matching stiffness. “Just like dear old Dad I can't block out my Sight when I'm drunk, but with practice I've reached the point that by the time I'm drunk enough to start seeing things, I'm too drunk to remember anything by the time I sober up except for a vague sense of gratitude for not being able to remember . . .” I put a deliberately mean emphasis on the word “gratitude.” “And the satisfaction of having a normal life.”

She looked at me sadly, and I really wish I had noticed that at the time. “It doesn't sound like much of a life,” she oh-so-correctly observed.

“It's not!” I snapped, “but it's more than . . .” She started to look hurt even before I voiced the word “you,” and even in my drunken pettiness the tears welling up in her eyes were enough to stop me cold. We stood there not even looking at each other for an agonizing minute that felt like hours before I found the courage to mumble, “Sorry.”

“Forgiven . . . truly this time,” she said with a smile and a natural ability to forgive that I could only envy. “But if you don't mind me asking, if you crave the mundane so fervently, what draws you to perform Shakespeare?”

She had me there, and to make matters worse, there wasn't any point in trying to deny it. “Escapism,” I admitted with a self-conscious laugh. “In Shakespeare's world ghosts and other supernatural things are accepted, and it's natural to be able to experience them.” I fidgeted a bit, feeling even more self-conscious. “It's stupid, I know, but it's a world where I can pretend I belong.”

She didn't seem to mind. “I love Shakespeare!” she gushed. “I used to practice my lines here all the time when I was alive!”

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