Down the laneway she followed her whimsy. It was nothing more than that that led her there. An idle thought, a daydream, her whimsy. She pirouetted past coffee grasping tourists attempting to find their way out of the labyrinth of alleys and lanes and dead ends. She sashayed around drunken lovers lost in each other so deep that the world had faded to background noise and blurred watercolours and all that there was was each other. She twirled around the purveyors and creators of gratis public artworks, gliding around their heady fumaroles. She skirted the bouncers and procurers and maîtres d’ attempting to coax her in for a dance, a dalliance, a dinner; perhaps one, perhaps all three. She sidestepped past it all, down the laneway, away from the world, into the fading light, the growing eternal sunset fuelled by exit lights. Down the laneway, whimsy leading, around the corner, away from this world, and onto the doorstep of the next.
Whimsy sat on her shoulder and murmured into her ear. Whimsy’s known for that. The suggestions, the wild ideas, the proffering of a proposition. The fancies, the follies, the fantasies. Whimsy murmured continue on and she acquiesced. The journeys, the adventures, the peregrinations. It’s whimsy that is behind it. Whimsy murmured look there and she looked. And she saw. Through the lens of whimsy she looked and observed and saw. Whimsy had brought her here and whimsy had shown her and now she owed to whimsy to go through.
She followed whimsy and got down onto her hands and knees, not quite in supplication to whimsy, but surely not far from it. She got onto her hands and knees and made her way towards the door, the door that whimsy had brought her to. She sunk closer to the ground until her face was pressed on the bluestone cobbles, until she was lying prone on the cold stone in her light summer dress. She lay with an eye to the cobbles so the door that was a mere hand-width high looked like a cathedral door, looked like it was looming, looked imposing. That door set into the wall, three finger widths across, painted a simple white. She reached forward and grasped the doorknob between her fingers, the brass doorknob that was a pinhead across, she reached out and grabbed it and it filled her hand. She pulled her self towards the door, standing as she did so, brushing the dirt off her dress as she did, she pulled herself down and towards the door and opened it with a slight twist of her wrist, this door a hand-width tall, and stepped through.
She stepped across the threshold and as the door behind her closed, she felt whimsy loop her arm through hers and lead her on. Together they made their way down the hallway, one lined with sequins the size of dinner plates, tiled with glitter, curtained with rose petals. They made their way down the hallway towards the light, towards the music, towards the clamour. They walked together; one step, two step, a shuffle, a box step. They transitioned to a waltz and glided out of the hallway, past the door attendants and into the ballroom, ceiling lost beyond the chandeliers of dragonfly wings and fireflies, walls mirrored and sparkling with spider eyes, floor the most intricate parquetry of matches. She waltzed with whimsy, turning around and around, one two three, one two three, out to the centre of the room. Whimsy had lead her here, a flight of fancy, a flight from the world, her world, that world. A flight to this world, wherever it is; or was, or will be. Through an impossible door to an improbable place, arm in arm with whimsy. To waltz in a place that probably isn’t, but yet just next to here.
As they twirled, whimsy and her, as they spun, she looked out at the room. The band swung past, the other dancers all partnered with delight and fantasy and humour. All led here by that part of themselves that want to not be in the world, that world, but be here, somewhere, not there. They were all led down alleys, through fields, into forests. They were all murmured to, whispered to, purred to. Their senses of other and otherworldliness had all led them to their own doors set in walls, set in stones, set in toadstools. Doors all a hand-width high. Improbable doors, impossible portals. Thresholds that should never not be crossed. Doors to the whimsical. She and whimsy twirled, she in her summer dress, whimsy in hers. Together they danced on.
They danced on through the night, whimsy supplying the narrative, spinning the story, creating the world. They drank champagne made from elderberries, sipped cocktails mixed from pollen, ate fairy floss spun by spiders. They danced on together as the fireflies dimmed, the ceiling sublimed, and the universe wheeled overhead. They danced on as the walls melted away, the dancers headed home, and the band disbanded. They danced on, just whimsy and her, as the floor fell away, as the grass came up to meet them, as they fell from that world back to this world. They moved in close, embracing, slow dancing, falling deep into each other, just whimsy and her, as the music died away. Just her and whimsy.
They lay down together on the grass, entwined together. Whimsy and her. They lay interlaced after a night of dancing in a place not here, but just next to here. Together as their pulses slowed, their breathing stilled, they lay together as she passed across the threshold to sleep. They lay on the grass, she in her summer dress, whimsy in hers, under the wheeling universe as she fell into a deep, dreamless slumber.
She awoke the next day, lying in the grass, whimsy no longer there. As the night fell away and as day reclaimed it’s place above the horizon, she lay in the grass, smiling. She’d spent a night being led by whimsy, being taken from this world and into that. Whimsy was gone, for the moment. She’ll return though, and sit upon her shoulder, and murmur and whisper and lead. And together find a door, just a hand-width high, three finger-widths across.
And they’ll dance.