No one had ever quite stated it the way it was transferred onto the soft used sheets of paper that had obviously been touched many times. He held them in his sizable hands, sliding his fingers along the edges and over the words, scripted sweepingly in a hand that seemed sensitive and understanding, but perhaps he was just getting that feeling from the words that spoke through the paper. Nick was sitting at the edge of his bed, his bum just touching it, and he leaned on his expansive legs with his arms, resting them there as he turned the pages. He unknowingly flexed and unflexed his large bare toes as he scanned his eyes over the first sentence.
I would catch rainbows for you and bring them to you every morning...
Nick traced his finger over the 13 words, written so beautifully in mature curving letters, practiced handwriting, writing that seemed to him omniscient. The words that followed were simple, easy to understand. And somehow Nick had been caught by them, quite suddenly, unexpectedly. He had no idea he would awake today, find a letter tucked underneath his door, read it, and finally get it. Finally understand what was going through some of their heads.
He thought he would never get it. He just sort of always went along with it, was thankful for it, but he never really understood it.
His eyes scrutinized the words of the next paragraph. He drew in a deep breath before he began to read. And when he read the words, he felt them as the beating of his heart, as the flow of the blood in his body to his brain. He understood the words.
It was as if a massive and intricate sky scraper was being built. At first, a long, long time ago, when only the groundwork for the structure had been laid, I didnít think it was a good idea. I figured that it would be just like any other sky scraper, probably dull and boring, unable to stand out from every other building in every other city worldwide. When the foundation was laid, I stood across the street and watched. I saw that they were constructing this one differently, altering styles, using stronger materials. It seemed as if it would look prettier to the eye, be stronger and more useful inside, and that altogether it would create a harmonious caste. I began to put my faith in the skyscraper. At first I would walk by once a day, watching it grow, watching it become what I had always hoped it could be. Slowly floors were added, the windows were installed and shined, the floors were built. Every floor in the building took on its own identity, its own theme, something that made it special. I started walking by on my way to lunch and then in the evenings. Benches were put outside and I watched the edifice. I drank it in with my eyes, I began to love it. It was almost as if I had nurtured it myself. I would return home in the evenings and think of it before I went to sleep, wondering when next I would be able to return to it. I began photographing it and going home to hang photos of it on my wall so I could be reminded of it. But that was never like actually being there, actually watching the creation and growth of it.
One day, I got to go inside. It was the first time and my stomach held butterflies of excitement. I walked through the hallways, I found my favorite floor and I felt at home there. This place was foreign to me, yet I still understood it. I considered myself lucky in many ways to have been able to watch it from the outside, being a completely separate part of it, an observer who had been neutral until I had been captivated and fallen in love. And now that I was inside, even though I barely touched, had not created, and was not the building itself, I felt a part of it. I was connected because I loved it.
I went home that evening and painted pictures of it, thought of what I could do to show it my love, but there was nothing quite enough. And really, how was it possible to make a skyscraper understand? A skyscraper is expansive, enormous, on such a large scale. It is an entity that is so hard to reach. This saddened me, the downside of being an observer. To make me feel better I began to paint pictures, pictures of me inside the fortress, living in it, feeling it all around me, consuming me, perhaps even becoming me. They were like odd dreams that I kept in my heart throughout the day and especially at night when I slept. I began scheming to make it so that I could get inside the building whenever I wanted, befriended people who worked inside the building, people who had designed it, built it, nurtured it, cared for it, protected it. Every single way I could feel a part of the skyscraper I tried. And I accomplished a lot.
Then one day I realized I had visited every floor and somehow was a familiar face in the halls of the structure. And somehow I was still on the outside. And thatís where I am right now. I am sitting on the small bench outside of the most beautiful skyscraper in the entire world. That is perhaps my own opinion, but for me it is true. I see other people around me, people who understand and feel as I do. So we all stand here and watch, hoping to get in, wondering if it will keep growing, the way my love grows.
And so I tell you that it is not easy to be in love with a skyscraper, a fortress that I can never really understand the workings of, the inner depths of, the secrets of, but one that I can love unrequited and unconditionally, one that I can view with my eyes and deduce with my soul and hope that maybe Iím on target with a few ideas. And if Iím not, I suppose Iím no worse off for it. For, who could ever really completely understand it?
Nick paused, looked up and saw the sunlight of the mid summerís morning shining through his long vertical blinds. He stepped to the window and peeked out, eyeing the girls fluttering in and out. Wondering if they felt the same thing this girl, this rainbow catcher, did. He wondered if one of them could perhaps be her. He wondered if she would lull him to sleep with her beautiful words and thoughts. Nick swallowed, feeling the letter still in his hand, the worn pages calling him back. He released the blind and remained standing as he read onward.
I write you this letter so that you may understand, just a little, about me: the person on the outside of the skyscraper. But as I think about it, I realize that when I tell you about how I pertain to you, I really only tell you more about yourself. I hope that brings you comfort and happiness, as it should do.
Whenever I see you, whenever I am around, you always seem, even when you are unhappy or at trouble with the world, to be in a way happy to make others happy. I see that you understand the simple fact that you bring so many people joy. I hope that makes you content in a way that hardly anyone else in this world can understand. I hope when you go to bed at night and you feel lonely that you know out there, in the darkness, on the street, in their own beds, there are thousands who love you the same way I do. Thousands who love you the way you deserve to be loved. How full your heart must be. I envy you for that. I love you for that. Love, it seems, is a contagious thing.
I think, though, that you have no idea what we would do for you. My desire is only to make you happier, only to see you more content, so that in return you can give me joy. To keep the circle unending, I would awaken in the morning, go outside with my large net and catch rainbows for you. I would release butterflies to gently land on the tip of your hand when you are sad. I would bake milky homemade cupcakes and muffins and smother them with warm butter and feed them to you before you went to bed at night. I would sing you songs from your childhood that comfort you when long for days that were simpler. I would deliver soft mittens to warm your hands when they are cold. I would kiss the tears away from your cheeks when you cry, alone in your room when no one else can see you. I would hold your hand when you are scared. I would give you cotton candy for breakfast. I would play video games with you until we would both went blind from watching the graphics. I would read you bed time stories until you fell asleep. I would smother you with everything sweet and wonderful and good in the world and still that would not be enough. Not enough to give you for the brief moments of joy that you give me that will last from this world into the next.
I know you do not understand why I would do these things. I hardly understand myself, only following my instincts that when you smile at me or when I look into your eyes, all I want is for life to feel this good, for both of us, forever.
Nick dropped the letter down onto the bed. He walked into the bathroom and flicked on the lights, turned on the shower and began removing his clothes, slowly, still thinking. He got into the warm rush of the charging water and let it seep into his skin. He closed his eyes, long blonde eyelashes caressing his reddening wet cheeks. And tears began to mix in with the shower water. He wished he could tell her that he understood. He wished he could thank her. Yet she was thanking him. Her words could not escape him, the words of his rainbow catcher.
I want to thank you for everything youíve ever done for me, every moment you lifted me when I was down. Iíd like to tell you every single time Iíve felt comfort from you, but then you would read until the end of time. And so, the most I can say at this time is thank you for singing me to sleep when I thought that the thunderstorms that plagued my life would never let up. You helped the rain clear away in your own subtle way. Thank you for, whenever Iíve met you, looking into my eyes when you spoke to me, trying to make my moment special and only mine, smiling like I was an old friend, holding my hand to keep me calm. Thank you for only giving me a moment and then moving on to create someone elseís moment. Thank you for making me feel, during a concert, like I was the only person in the entire stadium. Thank you for living so passionately. Thank you for the simple acts of heroism and kindness. Thank you for all that you are and all that you give to everyone you encounter every day.
Nick rubbed his hands through his hair. It fell wet, sticking to his forehead. Anyone else would have thought this was idolatry, but it wasnít. She knew his faults.
Thank you for not being perfect, for your faults, they only make you more real and easier to identify with. Thank you for making me want to touch you and be with you. Thank you for sculpting part of who I am.
Nick shut off the shower and grabbed one of the fluffy hotel towels to dry himself with. He massaged it over his body and wiped the water away, drawing in a deep breath as the coolness of his hotel room hit him stepping out of the bathroom. He dressed himself slowly, still thinking of the words and approached the mirrorw, running his hand through his wet hair quickly, not really caring. And he looked at himself.
She was right. She was always there. The rainbow catcher embodied every one of the people out there who loved him. It was hard to be lonely in a world such as this. Hard to ever really be down. His unhappiness came from the fact that he would never be able to thank this anonymous caregiver. But he thought back to her words and realized that maybe, in what he did every day, in this beautiful circle that the two of them were both a part of, he did thank her, in everything he did.
Before Nick left his hotel room that day, he tucked the letter into the pocket of his backpack. He would keep it forever, he knew that. It was something that made it all click, something that made him thankful for every gift he had been given. He crossed through the hotel lobby and stopped, smiling, signing autographs, taking pictures, hugging. And he felt fulfilled. A little girl tugged at his hand just before he got into the van. ďI love you.Ē She said breathlessly.
For the first time ever he looked back at one of his fans and answered, ďI love you too.Ē He meant it, this little girl was his rainbow catcher. They all were.
When the fan started toward the stadium Nick looked out the window. He gasped when they pulled up to the venue at what he saw. Red, blue, yellow; a rainbow in the sky. He thought of her last words one last time before he went inside.
Every time there is a rainbow, know it is for you. Know that Iíve caught it for you and stored it away to make you smile. Know that every time I see one myself, my heart will warm and the circle will continue, forever and ever.