His hair is kempt, his plaid shirt pressed, and we are grateful. Yesterday, we looked away when he was caught windblown and, there is no other way to say this, pumping his own gas. But here, the sun shines and he points at us winningly from the seats of spinning Cars. Here, gleaming Princesses, starched and virginal, offer their gloved white hands. He lingers with the one his granddaughter calls Briar Rose. My real name is Aurora, she says, like the dawn after a long sleep. She understands how greatness draws the curse of resentful outliers. Her voice is like music taking wing. Stillness has its virtues, she says. Now is your time to dream. Her fingers are soft and pliant and so warm he imagines giving her twirl. Instead, he bows. #SoCourtly! we tweet, fluttering about their shoulders. We place him with respect. We snap him reaching skyward atop the Matterhorn. We zoom in on his quarterback grin, the folksy crinkles around his eyes. We crop the frames. We do not show the moments when his eyes drift into dark corners and he seems lost inside the Kingdom. We keep our distance from his shadows. We would never break the spell, not here, not now—not when everywhere, black mice loom in hordes, every one of them with big ears.
All rights reserved to Rebecca Meacham.
Illustrations By Meghan Murphy.