The Dragon Keeper

-Listening to: “You” by Nils Frahm

From inside a dragons cave – looking out at the sleeping man at its entrance.

Hot frustrated tears. You’ve reduced me to them.

You make my blood boil in frustration. Why?! Why must you highlight my stubbornness? Why can’t I just be like before? Holding my state of loneliness with proud contempt. Bittersweet like me. Can’t I just rest and continue to plague myself with simple hopes of never becoming someone else’s and yet be completely adored by the masses? Alone and untouchable, feared and revered; always.

You made me angry. Just one year with you and I hate and love you more than you know.

You appeared too early for me. I was not prepared. I was not looking. You are not right for me. How can I look elsewhere when I know, infuriatingly so, that you are the right one to wield me? That I can be safe with you. I can be dangerous and yet be softened by your presence. You make me so angry. So agitated that I am being caged, used and hurt in the end. Angry! So very full of rage! And yet it makes no sense.

I am full of doubts and feel the tireless gnawing at my soul, my mind, my body at times joining in as well, throwing yet more fuel in this fire you started. But I will not be beat.

I will die in my stubbornness shall death ever come. If I shall prevail you will never know this of myself.

You will never know that no matter whom I meet or tries to court me I know without a shadow of a doubt that they compare nothing to you. None can truly see me. Flee is the word that I most often use to describe their main dealings with me. Those old lovers. Not ever really owning that title. Playthings in the end. For the pure pleasure that comes with pretending I could be truly loved and love back myself.

You – my darling; you are a lover. There is something old and unseen in the way you manage me. You are not from my time and yet you have learned to respect and understand my langue. Although never fluent you are one who recognizes this old dragon. You do not fear me but you know you should. You instigate within me a fearsome passion to protect you. To shield you from everything harsh – including my grumpy old self. Yet I frequently throw you into the flames because it cannot be. You, must not be the one who is at my gates. You are nothing like this man that was never meant to exist. You cannot be. You mustn’t, please.

But yet – here you are. Willing, dare I say, should I myself trust you unwillingly, to merely camp at the foot of my entrance. Not coming in uninvited. Sneering and hurting me with words of contempt as I’ve let countless fools before you come in and flee. As I comment and advise that there might be another one in the future that shall pass you and enter, only to probably flee himself or die trying to stay. You guilt me, for wanting someone else, with your threat of unhappiness, of possible desertion from where you stand there – boldly, proudly – stupidly I say.

I am not impossible. This is not so. Not true. We know this. But I am not going to pretend that I am not different, almost ancient and lost to most minds. I know this. I do not mind. Yet…so far; it has not deemed useful for matters of the heart. Who cares?! I want to angrily shout. I do not! No!

Believe me I do not. But I am not so un-human as I look. There are days, moments – merely seconds sometimes, where I entertain the idea of being with someone. Even in these flashes of dreams I do not agree that it should be so. But the body feels comfort, and I feel a little less dragon, and a little more human. A little less old and a little more palatable to the world of now. Real. No longer a myth. Real and doing things real people do. This is what I fell in love with. This is what I desire more than my wisdom, strength, my power and magic of old. This.

The ancient story of the old dragon. Lost to everyone, with none left of its own kind. Inside, at the top of the highest mountain cave, filled with treasures and wisdom of old. Alone. Wishing to be a human like the rest. To join the lives below and live!

I envy the villagers below. The cities and towns that sprout up for me to see as the time passes. Ever so seldom I try and venture to be one of them. But they are not fooled. They do not know me as one of their own. I am a beast who steals their good men and devours them, but for a moment, as they all readily flee when the time to take care of me comes, as real lovers should for one another. They are only there to take. They are more prudent with their next choices and they marry and have children while I stay deep in my cave – seemingly heartbroken and yet knowing there is not a heart to break. The menial life of a human – hah! who cares?! To hell with them I say. I despise them for being so very “un-dragonlike”.

But in the dark, my fiery breath shows me how cramped I am in here. The age of the dragons, where we could roam free is long gone. I distinctly remember it. It was glorious and indescribable in human terms. I wish for it longingly; but not really. I am too wise to wish for the past now. I do not know what I wish for. I just want to be.

And you are there. Outside. I do not believe you. You must be stupid. You must not truly know what a dragon is. I have absolved myself to this truth. I have even proclaimed it to you openly so. You are not worthy to be here and stay as you say you wish. I do not want you in here with me. But you urge me to at least come out. Peak my snout out a little bit. You admire my peculiar scales. Like iridescent and darkened jewels. Hard and cold like me but shielding the dark, molten, fiery breath and core I cannot bear alone at times.

What will I do once you pass? I cannot bear to think myself attached to a human. Your short lifespan a quick blink into mine. I fear this. I cannot live without a true lover once found. Yet, I can. And, I will. And I will be alone.

Once again though I am too wise to say no. Even dull, uneducated humans know that it is better to love than to ignore the heart so that in theory it remains “whole”.

Alas I am not ready. I still think you to fool me. To want me for your own selfish reasons. To not truly love me enough to let me be. I cannot bear it.

I am still furious for your presence at my gates.

It still remains to say though, that in the dark, late at night – I confess I found comfort in your small, tiny breaths and in the oh so never changing rhythm of your, small, stubborn, beating heart.

And I pray it never stops.

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