I was not used to people watching me work on my magic carpets. I had been waiting for someone to truly appreciate the threads I used, and I had seen your way of observing and believed you’d appreciate the quality of my work.
“It’s a beautiful rug” you said. You took long strides across it. “Thanks” I replied, watching your dirty shoes track a bit of mud on top of it. “The thread is Unconditional Love and Loyalty. It’s perfect for laying down when you’re watching the clouds from above”. You glanced at me and smiled “I’ve always loved those threads. It’s hard to come by a good rug with those threads” you said matter of fact, caressing the carpet. I shrugged, not too modestly. I trusted my rugs. Was excited about taking you out flying on it.
I started to sweep some of the dirt and grass you had tracked from outside on to the rug, while you ran your fingers through the fabric, pinching it between your fingers. As you combed through the different threads sticking out, I thought about the different layers each thread added. Glancing at a small patch of dirt that was still there from your shoes, I smiled as I realized this rug now had your mark on it.
Suddenly, you stood up abruptly with a thread between your fingers. “What is this??” your eyes wild, I wasn’t sure where your confusion was coming from. “It’s a thread of Loyalty” I offered. You shoved it in my face “if this is a thread of loyalty, then what’s it doing out of the rug?” I glanced between the thread, and your angry eyes, still trying to understand. “I’m not sure what you mean”. Furious, you threw the thread from your fingers, into the air. “This is not loyalty thread. If it were, it would never come off like that in my fingers.” At that moment I began to understand your anger, and my confusion began to turn to relief, as I realized it was all a misunderstanding. “oh! There are other threads in there, but the two main ones are Loyalty and Unconditional Love” I told you happily. You continued to glare at me, “what?!” you snapped. “Come, I’ll show you” and I grabbed your hand.
At that moment, through the open window, the Bird of Array came in with her gadgets and gizmos and weird bugs and creatures in tiny cages. She distracted us with neighborhood stories and rescue tales, and we drank her spirits and smoked her herbs and laughed together and I looked at my rug in the other side of the room, with the threads pulled out, barely any sign of dirt now except for a happy stain. It had so much more life, so much more story. We would fly on it! I thought to myself. I looked at you and you seemed relaxed. Like you believed me. It had all been a misunderstanding. I could barely contain my excitement about the ride we would take on my magic Loyalty carpet.
Finally the bird left and I ran to the rug to braid and thread and add layers of threads of Unconditional Love so that it would be strong and mighty for the ride. Perhaps if I combined the threads in a better way, they would not come off in your hand. I worked humming to myself, happily, as I felt your quiet presence nearby. I did not look up, I could feel you tired, I understood it was from the excitement of the day, an important misunderstanding about loyalty, followed by a lot of story-telling. I thought to myself to continue to work on the rug, so that you would lay more comfortably on it, and give you the space to rest in the mean time.
But then the door to leave swung open, and you were in the threshold of it.
“The colors of the thread are nice, but you’re lying about what they’re made of. It isn’t loyalty. Or Unconditional Love”. Your presence loomed below the “Exit” as your body threatened to leave.
I looked up at you, shocked at what had come out of your mouth, confused. “I assure you it is.”
“No. you’re lying”. Your words came out like venom and landed like ice on my back. You stepped out into the other side of the door, where your shoes were now filled with dirt again. This time, the dirt seemed darker, and much less friendly then the light dusty soil you had brought in earlier.
I could feel myself getting angry at you, but how to act on it when there are threads of unconditional love in your hands?
“I am sure you’re tired of the day,” I tried with compassion “there are different threads, as I tried to explain, and so perhaps it is not what you Expected. But if you lay on the rug, without pulling out the threads, you will see, it is loyalty and unconditional love. There is no deceit.”
“You’re lying” you said simply, and then came back in to wipe one foot on the rug. “It doesn’t look that comfortable anyway” you said, and, bewildered, I stared at your foot next to its fresh handiwork. A long line of dirt now streaked across the rug.
I had loved you and your small dirt before, knowing that sometimes it came with you, proof of existence. But now this dirt was different. It had been placed there maliciously, had been planted like a bacteria. “I don’t care what you do with your rug” you spit out at me.
I stared at the threads in my hand, somehow not as beautiful as they were a few minutes ago when I had been braiding more Love and Loyalty into this rug. “I am sorry you feel that way”.
“Yeah” was all you said. “I’m going to go work on this rug somewhere else.” I said quietly, not knowing what else to do to protect us both from the demon of deceit that had seemed to cloak your eyes. Perhaps if I gently pulled away and gave you time. And as I stood up to walk into another room, I heard the door slam shut behind me and lock.
I stared at the rug in my hands, which despite its glitter did not shine. My tears had dampened the soil, it had turned to dirty mud, and my magic rug looked like just a dirty rag. That this is what you had seen last, and that’s how you’d remember me. Not the girl that wanted to take you out on a magic carpet ride, but rather the girl holding a dirty, useless unwelcome mat.
The thing about a magic carpet is…it won’t work unless you believe.
There would be no wrapping ourselves around a magic carpet, rolling on a rug, flying through the sky of unconditional love, loyalty, intimacy, and compassion…instead, I’d be walking on the ground, and my rug would be no more. I walked home alone, cold. I felt instead muddied, like the dirt on my rug. I did not believe in that carpet either, anymore. I went to sleep without you. I dreamt that you had come back. I woke up the next day to realize that you had been a dream…your existence and to be with you…unconditionally. On a magic carpet ride. That was the dream.
But when awake, the truth is…you’re gone. And magic carpets don’t exist.