Les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu’on a perdus.
The true paradises are those which we have lost.
Better joy in a cottage than sorrow in a palace.
I was born beside the sea, delivered by the Sisters of Mercy, on the Feast of Immaculate Conception, of our Blessed Virgin Mary. From there I was placed into the arms of an overbearing Queen, my beautiful grandmother Lila, and brought to live with her in a castle on a barrier reef.
Rich, green ivy climbed the castle’s brick walls, and tall white columns ushered in honored guests. At the foot of the steps was a golden engraving, bearing the castle’s name: Sixty-Twelve.
6012 was a child’s delight. There was a staircase taller than any father, and a cherry bannister that curved its way from earth to sky. Soft green stairs cushioned the descent of any who chose to ride.
There was music too. Piped into every room. An orchestra playing just for you.
Crisp, cool, mountain air, brushed your skin as you glided from place to place, no matter what the temperature outside.
Deep lush carpets and plush thrones lured you in forbidden rooms. An inner chamber beckoned you further–toward heavy drapes that hid the world outside. If you were brave and if you were strong, you could shove one of these aside and hold it in place with your face pressed against the glass to spy people passing by.
But better than the floor to window panes was the golden box built into a wall. If you could reach it, if you could drag a chair upon which to precariously stand, you might be able to touch the dials, and if so, your orchestra would grow hushed or suddenly boom.
The Queen would find you then.
Kelly Salasin, January 2013