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Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

Thomas Cautley Newby, 1847

“My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath—a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind—not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”

His own moors were ponds filled with sunfish, rusted roller skates, and reflections of stars at night. There were summer vacations: Blow Pops and bicycles, bowling alleys, and baseball diamonds. There were lines for blockbusters like Jaws and Star Wars. There was endless waiting: classroom clocks with hands that refused to budge and long calendar days that refused to let Christmas come any sooner. There was a kiss with Jill behind the beautifully decorated tree.

And then, there came a time when a Blue Velvet director sang a Mark Linkous song about time slippin’ by. And it was August. And it was September. The Everetts moved away long ago. There were memories: stickers sent from the Steve Austin Fan Club, block parties, ten-speeds, fishing poles and tackles of lures, Halloween costumes, cornish hens in Beverly Hills at Thanksgiving after a bike ride up the coast to Venice Beach. There was always music and there were always movies. Then came VCRs and home theaters. Before the layoffs. Before the diagnoses and funerals. Before the unknown.

There were epilogues. Within the cruel confines of possessed minds, ill-fated lovers dive into the warm teal of eternal youth. They drift out to sea. But they are destined to return, these prisoners of love. They always return. They return to realities as grand and immovable as steel skyscrapers that line the cement of old and cold city streets where history’s other lovers—the lucky ones—once shared a glance at the moon.

A legend resurfaces. Word of mouth. A bullet point on a syllabus. The Internet. A pale white face appears in a window blown open by a harsh bitter wind. Silhouettes sway in and out of the horizon. It is a night much like tonight. There is a distinct smell of musty trapped air. Cries creep through the tap-tap-tap of rain. There are other sounds. Listen to the rustle of leaves and alley trash skidding across cracked pavement and you might even fall under a spell. It is a whispering secret history of ghosts and of eternity passing.