Nadine the Dragon-tamer

On the suggestion of friends lately I am returning to writing fiction, something I’ve missed doing, particularly the monologues, which are always an exploration of characters, and the way in which they perceive their world.

This following piece involves a young woman called Nadine, a dragon-tamer who is lamenting over the premise that love is always conditional, and that in her experience the trust and respect of dragons is hard won. She is rehearsing in her mind what she might say to the dragon she has befriended and fallen in love with if only she had the courage. The dragons in this tale appear human to all others, but dragon-tamers like Nadine are able to see them in their full and terrifying splendour. The theme of dragons follows on from previous posts that I have written about their significance in my own life.

“Look, I know when you’re ignoring me, because well, you just ignore me. You tell me that your phone isn’t receiving messages, but I know that is complete rubbish. I get it. You don’t always have time for me.

You underestimate how well I read you though. My stomach tenses up into a knot when you are angry or despondent, and I feel as though it were directed at me. Yet whenever I quiz you about it, you deny it through gritted teeth, making me out to be the one who is prying into your business. Even though you tell me that you are always honest and open with me. That I am your wife, your heart, and your best friend.

It seems though, that you are scared of me. If you knew what I could do you would trust me more. You would have a little more faith in us, and most of all, yourself.

Sometimes you make me feel expendable. As if you could discard me on a whim, at a moment’s notice, well because you have so many other possible partners that are already waiting in line to fill the spot I apparently jumped-queue for.

You chose me, more consciously than I chose you. I made a plea to the universe, and you are the only one that signed up to my heart. But you chose me personally. You told me you were in love with me before you’d even decided you were actually in love with me.

Looking back now, having got to know you a little better, I can see you were just curiously flirting with me. You had no intent to pursue me at that point. My prayer had fallen upon your deaf ears, even though something within you had heeded my call. You had at least listened to your God. Yet you still disbelieve the magic of us, and what has transpired between us, to the point that you curtail my enthusiasm at every opportunity. You treat me with the same irreverence that you do the rest of humanity. And I can tell you it hurts.

I feel the pain appealing to my heart, begging safe passage. But my heart refuses, being no stranger to pain. It tells the pain of your denial to go and find carriage elsewhere, because it is fragile and no longer able to take the strain of its passing.

I am at an impasse with you. You have stifled your muse to silence. I see you floundering, but you refuse my help. What shall I do?

I give you so much it seems, but get not as much in return. You lie to me, you manipulate me, you keep secrets, and you do this, you say to yourself, because you are protecting me. Protecting me from you, is that it?

Do you think I’m going to get bored with you, that someday I will realise quite how ordinary and mundane you are and wish to quit, exchange you for a younger more active, more pro-active model of your present self?

You went to so much effort making me, willing me to fall in love with you at the beginning, during those first weeks that we were adjusting to each other. And I say ‘adjusting’ because we both felt and knew in our hearts that we were meant for each other, but in our own ways we fought it, not wishing to be the measure of our past failures.

It’s true, at first I was swept off my feet; you were like a whirlwind that picked me up a hundred feet into the air, making me feel so weightless and free. Then I would come crashing down with a heavy thud as your energy subsided, only carrying me as far as you personally were able. I felt confused, dazed, as one would when falling from a great height. You’d berate me for mistreating you, for being mean and obscene, and then almost in the same breath you would plead for my heart like your life could not continue without it.

I have to say your behaviour worried me for a while, still does. The way you almost counter-argue with yourself as you try to placate me, to win me back without actually conceding. It’s both fascinating and disconcerting to experience.

You are a strobe of light on a very dark and foggy night. Your presence can be blinding, illuminating everything at once. Exposing me entirely, then disappearing to nothingness again.

You make me see things I don’t like sometimes. And to be honest, that makes me wary of you, of us and the future we have together.

Sometimes, perhaps often, I feel that there is no hope for us at all. That your interests and my interests are too divorced. Too singular and in the pursuit of self-preservation. Yes, I recognise that in myself too. What you want is a pillow to shed your dragon tears on, and you have many!

That’s another thing, you don’t like it when I tell you what you know you are thinking. It makes you feel exposed for all to gawk at, just as you do to me. It’s an odd feeling isn’t it?

But you hate it. You would kill rather than admit that I might have seen you truly naked, truly as you are!

And yes it makes me angry too, that you could be so blatant with your defiance and willingness to vilify me, to make me out to be a temporary member of your crazy fan club.

You tell me that you don’t think I’m crazy, but you treat me as if I am. It’s a little schizophrenic don’t you think?

The truth is, you make my position very difficult because you knew who I was and what I could do long before you decided that you couldn’t let me go. Yet you have insisted from the outset that my ‘powers’ didn’t extend to you, couldn’t extend to you. That you were and still are immune to my birth-given vision.

Well, you’re not.

You are just a little deluded, and yes that is my personal opinion.

I have lived with types like you before. Other dragons that have sought to exact their control over me by evading me and my potentially revealing questions. Except, all you are really doing is evading my total support and love. You are telling me that if I deserve you at all I’d better work damned hard to keep you, because you don’t give in easily. You just don’t yield to dragon-tamers.

The last dragon I met, I had to slay. I tried for three years to tame him, to get him to look me in the eyes as an equal, a partner in a loving union of body and mind. But he fought me tooth and scale until I got the better of him after being beaten down and burnt repeatedly. Time and time again I would find the will to get back up and stand tall against the mighty ferocity of the beast before me shining bright like a bloody beacon, blinding me with his stereoscopic luminosity.

I have found with dragons, that most if not all are beyond taming. It’s an almost impossible task. There always comes a point where blow for blow we begin to match one another, until ‘I’ give up, realising the futility of my efforts, and I simply.walk.away.

I see the same pattern having emerged between us, and I often wonder if you are one such dragon too. I suppose my own conclusions suggest that you are. You are in my mind the dragon of all dragons, and I have attempted to tame and fought many in my short life. But I believe that you may be the one to defeat me this time. The one that teaches me that I am no match for the will of my Universe and your God. How dare I challenge the unknown, and unknowable by making it sound so trivial and familiar and bend it to my will?

How dare ‘I’ indeed.

I am a dragon-tamer, and that is what I was born to do. You are a dragon and thus the dance continues. It isn’t a job I know how to resign from.

I look within myself, and I can see that I am tiring of this circus act. I do not wish to be up against such a fearsome, troublesome adversary. I do not wish to fight for my right to my spoils. Dragon-tamers need guardians too. And that’s the thing you see, my role, as Tamer of Dragons is actually the role of guardian, ensuring that you are kept safe and healthy so that you can maintain the balance in the fabric of reality. You maintain the tension in its weave. Except the only way you can do that is by allowing your guardian, me, to take on some of the burden of entertaining the crowds, of warding off all would-be assailants, slayers, and those seeking only to steal treasure from your impressive hoard.

Profession aside, I am just more than a little saddened that I cannot just love you unconditionally. That in order to love you and be loved by you, I must be divested of my power, my strength and compassion, so that you don’t feel undermined and less equal than me.

You tell me that I am ‘probably’ more adept and ‘aware’ than you, though I wonder if what you’re saying is: “I am not ready for you yet. I realise I have bitten off more than I can chew, so I am resisting what appears to be an inevitability.”

To which I say: “Stop being so bloody ridiculous! Neither of us can help who we are, and we have a destiny to fulfil. You wanted me, you got me, now love me back with the same passion and dedication with which you began!”

Do I deserve to be treated with such disdain? No, I don’t think I do.

I deserve to be made to feel like the most precious treasure in the world, to feel that I match even the love of your God. I deserve to have a partner, a dragon who is complicit in my evolution along a journey of discovery and remembrance.

All I want to do is share my life with you. Share all that I am with someone who wishes to do the same, and for us to be able to celebrate our beautiful union, to uphold the myth of the Dragon and Dragon-tamer with the love and passion that it deserves.

I don’t wish you to tell me that such a notion is naïve and fanciful, that the grimness of reality won’t make a mockery of it before it has even unfurled its wings. If you respect me so little, and you think me so foolish, then why do you insist on keeping me?

You are difficult and contrite, and you are not forthcoming with your promises. You promise me the earth, but I am afraid that I will get nothing. I shouldn’t be surprised, after all that is a typical trait of most dragons. There are tales of their being those exceptions to the rule, the tales of those mighty dragons that fall in love with their tamers, their guardians, that stay together until the very end, dying in each other’s embrace to be reborn as a super-guardian, Tamer of all Tamers, charged with extra abilities to read minds and souls. I have often wondered if I was the product of such a powerful union. Well, it sucks.

Perhaps I am naïve. Perhaps I should not be so ready to jump into the ring with another dragon, even if you are the most beautiful dragon I have ever seen. Believing, that maybe this time will be different. That just maybe you are one of those dragons that will bond with me for life. That you won’t always be looking elsewhere for yet more treasures to add to your hoard.

You are a wounded dragon, hurt by slayers that you have previously encountered. I however, am your first Tamer aside from your mother. Maybe there is hope for me yet, that you will see me as a healing balm, and that you will learn a little humility and compassion for one so bold who dares come so close and look you in the eyes and heart.

Perhaps you will realise beneath all the smoke and refractions that my love is the best gift you will ever have.”

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