At midnight on Halloween night of 2001, I met Clyde for the first time.
My actions of the preceding the year were those of looking for him, under the stones of what I would come to know as the river. Does a girl need blood on her hands to get some attention around here? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it was always going to be that way. I conjured him, conjured him, conjured him. But I know that he came because he felt like it. That the junkyard dog of him loped away for the night because he felt like it.
Because the teenagers were out with firecrackers. Because I could pay the Aegis in silver. Because there would be pumpkins on the street, smashed by kids in spirits too high. Something in my mouth said Clyde, and something in his skin itched him Evelyn.
I followed every call into the darkness. Every errant bark down long alleys marked with sludge from recent rains. I found him in the feelings of a heart pounding in a small and still place. I dreamed about him and having inside me, as a part of who I was, some slick and blandly animal sensation of sweat in the hollows under my eyes. A direct solution to the dichotomy of my sterilized sense of detachment and awareness of my detachment, was a dark place under the hedges.
Hedges, that word, always that word, the hedges. Gone once asked me how far into the woods I had to go to find Clyde, how wild one had to be, how far-removed from the place of a man, and I never bothered to explain to him that the woods lie under your hedges. That Clyde and all his secrets are as close as your hedges. That from under those shadows, he could rise as swift as your trapped and ruined city vermin. That you don't find the woods. The woods find you.
Roses creep, you see, Evelyn? Weeds grow fast, when left untended. Things thought dead are left to root again. The perpetuation of life far outstrips in madness and invention, the inevitability of death. The kept bells in the cemeteries, you see? Bells, with long strings.
I wonder what Nicholas really knows, long creeping rose that he is. Long creeping, exposed and thought wrecked and ravaged rose that he is.
Wild. The two are wild in such a way as no other boys will ever be. Ignore them, let them die, and they grow wild.
In the long night, Clyde bared his long teeth of the wolf of him and we danced. In a room with a wild thing, one is never wholly sure of one's alliances. Sometimes we were enemies, and sometimes we were lovers. But the enduring melody was one that we must, the two of us, always stay alive.
Strength, and Sunlight, the cards always said. Strength, and Sunlight. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Come be wild, Evelyn, and forget what you know.