DISCLAIMER: Wicked does not belong to me it belongs in book form to Gregory Maguire and L. Frank Baum and in musical form to Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holtzman and a variety of others. This is for entertainment and fun not for profit.
CHALLENGE: Submitted for the first International Day of Femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
I have thought in my more philosophical moments that perhaps if we, as humans, had never been gifted with sight we would be better off, less hateful, less fearful. In my more jaded moments I am convinced we would only find new reasons to judge one another. For all of its complex function the human eye seems a flawed thing. Or perhaps it is the human heart that is flawed.
So much of the damage we do to one another is because of what we see and so little of our capacity for kindness is tapped by those who are deserving of it. Perhaps it is not blindness we should be blessed with but greater depth of vision, or the ability to take a moment before categorizing what we see. Beauty is so narrowly defined to things which are visually perfect rather than aesthetically interesting. Flaws can lend layers of complexity and yet we are so invested in that which is flawless.
Of course, nothing is truly flawless. It may seem so on the surface. It may be pretty and perfect on the outside but what lies under such thin veneer is often imperfect but even more beautiful than the packaging. But we never see what's underneath, not really. Underneath we are messy, bloody, bruised, even broken. Muscle, flesh and sinews that often work at cross purposes to our exteriors, parts of us that cry out to be seen, felt, heard by someone, anyone, ourselves. These beautiful, fragile parts that no one ever sees, no one really wants to see.
The mechanisms of the human form, the casing that houses the us of us, is not what we are but is what we are defined by. Large, small, homely, beautiful the infinite strings of adjectives that are applied to people with little regard for what it is that dwells behind the eyes or beats in the chest. I honestly don't know if it's the soul or something else but I know whatever it is; it is that which truly makes us beautiful. It is that I wish we could all see.
I know people who would laugh at the very idea that I was contemplating the soul; they would be equally amused at me bemoaning the fate of humanity. But that seems to be my current occupation. I try to hide the truth, even from myself. In the latter I am a miserable failure. I can't hide these truths from myself anymore than my words, my efforts, can stem the tide of human frailty, human stupidity, human capacity for fear and vengeance.
We are all so busy, too busy with the trivial things that seem so important in the moment. We allow our lives, our selves, to be consumed. We allow our beauty to be marred by our choices, other's choices by life itself. On the surface we seem the same from day to day but inside our beauty is allowed to atrophy, our uniqueness drowns in sameness. Our differences are the core of what makes us beautiful and yet we seem destined to stamp out difference at every turn.
I can't pretend that I am above such actions. I've been guilty of countless atrocities. I've failed to see past the surface. Oz knows I've been petty and vindictive. I have stood silently by and allowed those more short sighted folk to spout hatred and blatant untruths. I tell myself that it's all part of a larger plan, the greater good. On my good days I know it's true, on other days I choke on the bile of hypocrisy.
I cringe inside now when I am told I am beautiful, or good, or worse yet Good. I know it is my role to fill until this all plays out but sometimes hearing it just makes me wish I could scream. Fiyero thinks I am but a cog in this tic toc political machine and I can see his distance, his distain in the depths of his eyes and I don't blame him. I can't tell him the truth however, I can't tell him that at first I was caught up in my childish dreams and then it was out of my control. Now I am only trying to make the best of what has become a horrible situation.
I can't tell him even though I'm certain he feels the same way. I've seen under his surface though he thinks he can hide it. I know how he feels and who he feels it for, and I know it isn't me. Oh, he cares about me much as I care about him. He understands appearances as well as I do. I will lose him one day either to her or to the distance that grows between us. I even know I will be hurt and angry when I do. What I can admit now that may escape me when it happens is that I won't be angry at him. I will be angry at myself for being a coward and I will be angry at her for choosing him instead of me. As I said I can be petty, I am not entirely lacking in self-awareness.
He tries to protect her, and me, in his way. I try and do the same. Does it seem foolish that I want to use my outsides to try and protect her insides? Maybe it is and I don't think I could possibly make anyone else understand. It's the least I can do to make the crowds less fearful, happier, for a brief moment so that maybe they won't go after her today. Or that maybe someone she cares about will make it home safely because I was shiny and distracting. Maybe in the end I'm just fooling myself, buying into my own marketing. Or maybe when the time comes I will actually be brave enough to do what must be done.
As I write these words I fear I am turning melancholy and verbose. I almost have to laugh at how much I remind myself of her. I look back over the words I've written here and I know I wouldn't be thinking any of this if I hadn't met her. I would be blissfully ignorant of so many things I now know all too well. I would also have no understanding of true beauty. I would never have stopped long enough to see how different the surface of a thing and the inside of a thing can be; I would never have realized the inside of me was different than the surface. I would also never have seen that sometimes it is our imperfection that radiates glorious, almost painful beauty. It is never the ways we are not surprising or different that make us sparkle.
I think of the very book in which I write. In my drawer I have two journals. One is embellished with chips of crystal around the edges of the cover. It was a gift from my mother when I left for Shiz. I have not written in it since we took that first trip to the Emerald City, since we both made some very rash decisions. Hers to leave and mine to let her go. Now I write in this journal plain brown paper, plain brown cover yet it houses my deepest regrets, my most thoughtful thoughts.
If someone were to pick them up the eye would be drawn to the former and dismiss the latter. It is the same when we look at people and when they look at us. We lack the ability, no, the desire to see past the surface. We may as well be blind for we miss those things that lie beneath the surface longing to be touched, to be healed, to be held, to be loved. If we won't even look inside ourselves I guess it is asking too much for others to do so. I say this knowing there are those who do look past it all, who seem to effortlessly look through skin to the aching flesh and bone beneath. She does, I know she does. I would be a fool to think otherwise. But she is a rare commodity and I am all too common.
I hear Madame Morrible coming down the hall, that woman wouldn't know stealth if it bit her considerable hindquarters. So I best tuck this unassuming page in an unassuming book under its more ostentatious cousin and prepare. There are all too many speeches and parades. All too many appearances that require appearances to be kept. And so I sign this, wishing these and the ones that follow were the words I could speak.
I love you, dearest. Good night, my Elphie.
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