The Secret Guest by Nicholas Yandell

(with a nod to Rumi)
The you I once knew is tied up in a basement. It’s dark and cold and isolated from view. When I illuminate your body, with a candle’s flicker, and the knots that bind you to that sturdy wooden chair, I can’t let myself stay too long.
This extended liminal space was never meant to be your resting place, but I knew no other options. I bound up your memory, with strands of restraint, for my safety… as my vice. And though it’s been so long since we last touched, I still feel your movements resisting the ropes. They’re rubbing against your skin, with a slow burn of friction, across the span of time.
I too am bound, with long cords, around my wrists, on my ankles, in my stomach, and my throat. They keep me dangled over the precipice, of never knowing where I’ll be, without your shell to cling. For you may have the same body, and the same soul, but nothing else has stayed so firmly consistent. Left imprisoned and deprived of light, just so I can revisit your past existence.
But no longer will I have you, as a prisoner in my depths. This is the last time I’ll come to that lonely room. As a pilgrimage of release, I’ll sever your bindings and set you free. And long after the cords have fallen away, you’ll still occasionally drift through me, but with rays of elucidation, revealing what you’ll always be: A memory of happenings that altered me chemically… far beyond ephemeral reality.
When you return though, at future hours, I’ll set a room to welcome you, as my honored guest for a moment or two. However long you stay, there will be comfortable chairs, with no constraint, where we can commune in harmony. And when you’re finished and ready to leave, I’ll simply smile and say goodbye, releasing you into the night, as a memento from another time.
With passing years and changing needs, in a flow of dwindling frequency, I’ll still be grateful for your presence. As a guide in the winding journey, to know my secret guests and the part they play in me. Through an act of liberation, a gift of illumination, and the possibilities each open door can bring.

Nicholas Yandell is a composer, who sometimes creates with words instead of sound. In those cases, he usually ends up with fiction and occasionally poetry. He also paints and draws, and often all these activities become combined, because they’re really not all that different from each other, and it’s all just art right?
When not working on creative projects, Nick works as a bookseller at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, where he enjoys being surrounded by a wealth of knowledge, as well as working and interacting with creatively stimulating people. He has a website where he displays his creations; it’s Check it out!

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