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Diamonds & Pearls

THIS WILL BE THE DAY,

YOU WILL HEAR ME SAY

THAT I WILL NEVER RUN AWAY.

I AM HERE FOR YOU,

LOVE IS MEANT FOR TWO

NOW TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE GONNA DO…

A web of taut thread ran from banister to banister on the second floor of my childhood home. Twinkling lights wound their way through the string. Icicles made of faceted glass hung at varying lengths, catching and throwing off shards of light. Feathers of white rested atop the interlocking strands, hiding the cords and softening the little bulbs. Crystals in all shapes and sizes floated in mid-air, suspended by the elaborate system of thread, while snowflakes coated with silver glitter spun slowly whenever anyone walked by.

This was the decorative “sky” I created for our hallway area. Like any good gay boy, I excelled at decorating for the holidays, and this small patch of whimsical elegance was created each year, my small attempt at making something that approached magic. On the stereo, Prince’s ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ was playing on repeat, strangely fitting as ropes of faux pearls and beads dangled from my hands.

IF I GAVE YOU DIAMONDS AND PEARLS

WOULD YOU BE A HAPPY BOY OR A GIRL?

IF I COULD I WOULD GIVE YOU THE WORLD

BUT ALL I CAN DO IS JUST OFFER YOU MY LOVE.

I draped them over the string in parabolic fashion, their creamy spheres of soft white like tiny balls of the most lustrous satin. Winding in and among the ornaments and crystals, these strands of pearls dripped like jewels from some dowager’s neck. I wanted magic, and beauty, and a sparkle that would somehow last beyond the holiday season. I didn’t have much more to offer other than a way to make things pretty. Sometimes I still don’t.

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