I know this guy who lives in Fairyland, a place where hope is a juicy fruit you just pick and bite into. But it’s also a place of mischief. Despite the name, there are no children there. Just the fairies, caught between a perfect heaven and the earthly hell, or idealism and cynicism.

Music is like the weather, falling from the sky, sometimes the same song over and over until one looks up at the sky and prays for a change. Movies play continuously on the sides of buildings and the food is spicy and plentiful. The people there are all “good guys”—generally amiable, generous souls, but sometimes they play pranks on people in the real world.

I try to get at this guy, thinking he can be pinned down as a type, but he’s a sprite and eludes me. I think he’s turned me into something magical because I am laughing or crying, lost in emotion. Then the fairy dust wears off and I find myself sitting at the gates to Fairyland, wondering how to get back in. He comes to visit me in the real world but can’t stay long because it makes his delicate wings get a little wilted.

He reads to me, incantations of dreamlike predictions and words that wrack me with giggles. He smells like everything I ever needed. He tastes of mountains and rivers and history.

When he’s away, I feel the magic is gone. I reach out for him, but there’s nothing there. He’s the only person I have ever met that doesn’t make me feel lonely by being near. I crave him, but the craving makes me stronger, not compulsive and afraid. This is the only addiction that makes me stronger. I speak and he understands; I sing and he hums along.

He’s the sea of life, he’s my ship of fools, a jibing boom, my keel, my creaking deck, the salt spray…

He’s my Cool Hand Luke.