"Amor Non Tenet Ordinem"
(There is no order in love)
Archive: mash-slash and at my own place, http://tostwins.slashcity.net/jimaine.htm
Disclaimer: I don't own M*A*S*H or the characters and I don't get paid for their unauthorized use.
A/N: I believe there once upon a time was a 5-min-challenge to the opener "Once upon a time…" Better extremely late than never, right?
The Italian poem was taken from the preface of Dante Alighieri's "Inferno".
<<Ordina quest' amore O tu che m' ami>>
(Set my love in order, O thou who lovest me)
-- Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306), Italian poet
Once upon a time a call to arms swept through the nation, and two hearts got caught in the whirlwind. They would fall down in a far away land, struggling to take root in that foreign soil, strange reddish ocher dust. Instead of water to nourish them, there is only blood.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"
Hard to decide. Nothing's ever 'fair' in this rotten place, and everything looks the same in khaki or blood-drenched white. All beauty – and individuality as well – is covered by a patina of dirt, sweat and tears.
Instead of seven dwarves there's only four of them here, and we labor all day while at night the Big, Bad North Korean wolf huffs and puffs and tries to blow our house down.
It's our Grimm way of life.
Snow Whites and Cinderellas hand us the tools we've borrowed from Old Gepetto to make flesh-and-blood Pinocchios. Fortunately, our own noses don't get longer with every un-kept promise of 'You'll be all right', outright lies in so many cases.
Gentlefolk from many different nations are here to dance at the ball in the honor of the Lady North Korea.
We are waiting on her at the court of Ouijongbu. This ball is by invitation only and of these too many have been sent out. Unfortunately, the glass slipper fits none of the guests, no matter how far up the legs get chopped off.
We can pretend all we want, pretend that we actually make a difference, but at midnight the magic dissipates and the carriage transforms back into a cabbage (or is that carnage?), beautiful horses back into mice. Illusions created with scalpels and 3-0 silk during the day rarely survive the night.
In the morning, we go back to sackcloth and ashes, slaves to our evil stepmother, the war.
This place works its own magic, the tale of the Ugly Duckling in reverse. Beauty and innocence are traded for disfigurement and guilt and red. The swan's pristine white feathers (scrubs) get stained with red blood that won't wash off. It makes the lines between friend and foe run – ink-lines drawn according to political conventions, fallible at best – and weakens the walls separating fairytale and reality. There's red on everybody, on the Reds as well as on those who are here to fight them. In the OR, everybody's Little Red Riding Hood. With the exception that it's not just red hoods.
Red, all red…
Some artist might appreciate this: the army is clothed in the complimentary color of the liquid of life that's wasted by the pints day by day, liquid pouring from the bodies of wounded soldiers.
If they are lucky, they are drunk enough to sleep through the night and not hear the soft, chirping music played by Jiminy Cricket.
No fairytale I ever read or heard told of how to live on with half a heart, half a soul. Sometimes, I'm tempted to say half a mind even. The Prince Charming who kissed this particular Briar Rose awake left him standing at the altar and returned to his kingdom beyond the sea.
"The dead live on in our memories." Memories I've never wanted. And right now, they are a thousand tears away.
"Yeah…" Your eyes are red and bleary, without focus. "But seriously, Hawk, don't you want to forget sometimes? Let them die, let them rest."
There's someone I want to lay to rest…at least the memories of him. And every day (or rather night) anew I find that I can't. Every word he ever spoke is still in me. *He's* still in me, indelible, and as hard as you try, as completely as our bodies become one at night, he reached me in places you wouldn't understand.
They'd scare you if you knew of them.
Every so often I wonder about it. The differences.
Are your defenses any better than mine? Don't you feel like a prisoner, feel this place *carving* into you, scraping your being from the inside of your skin while you're still alive?
Today I bake – (give me three mangled bodies and I'll give you a whole one!)
Tomorrow I'll brew – (the best antifreeze in the entire kingdom, finest kind!)
I'd never take your child, though, rest assured. Besides, you already made me tear myself apart on the first kiss without ever guessing my name.
It's all a sorta fairytale with you…
No damsels in distress over here, just a whole lot of dragons to slay. Their numbers keep growing and bathing in their blood doesn't make us invulnerable.
It doesn't make us bitter, or sad. Only empty.
We'll never live happily ever after.
We will never be *alive* again, as it is.