"I re-learned something today, Mr. Gryphon."
"And what is that, Miss Turtle?"
I don't reply at first. Mr. Gryphon and I are inspecting the newly finished subterranean maze in the new living quarters of my imaginary library. This maze is only a little larger than the one that was in the basement of Mr. Gryphon's former mansion. Like the old maze there are doors lining the wide hallways. At each intersection there's a "you are here" map. As we walk through I note the odd titles on the doors: Area 51, Sherwood Forest, Minas Tirith and Europa (moon). Here and there are wooshing sounds because the doors and their contents are always changing.
I stop and study a door that has just appeared. It says The Sinking of the Titanic. "We can take a look if you want, Miss Turtle." He indicates the door knob.
"No, I'm not up for floundering around in freezing water right now. Perhaps later. Anyway, today I re-learned that even if you make great strides towards something, such as conquering your insecurities, that doesn't keep you from feeling lonely."
Mr. Gryphon looks at his feet and then at me "I'm here," he says softly. I look at his lovely golden feathers and reach for his hand. It is large, furry and reassuring. We stand there in the hallway just looking at each other.
"Yes, you are here and I'm grateful for it, but you know what I mean. I would like a human male who cares about me to share these things with."
"Hm. I know that's what you want, but know this, Miss Turtle, even when you find that man I will still be here even when you stop talking to me. I will still follow you everywhere like I do now."
"I will never stop talking to you," I say. We move on down the hallway, the sound of the wooshing doors in the background. "You know, even with my greatest accomplishment, I don't think that will keep me from feeling lonely sometimes."
"Many people who have someone feel lonely from time to time," says Mr. Gryphon.
We reach an intersection of the maze. The "you are here" is indicated with a bulls-eye. In front of us is a door that says Beatles Debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. I look at Mr. Gryphon with a smile.
"I think I want to be in that audience, screaming with the rest, Mr. Gryphon." He reaches for the door knob and opens the door. The sound of the screaming audience is overwhelming. I walk through and am dressed like one of the girls with those cat-eye glasses and a plaid dress. We are in Ed Sullivan's television studio. I'm shocked by the color since the only time I've ever seen it is in black and white. I move along on the aisles and find my seat. I scream and feel the electricity in the air. The room is exploding with anticipation. In a few minutes, Ed Sullivan will come out and announce the American debut of the Beatles. Mr. Gryphon has moved off to the stage near the camera man. Even he seems excited. I imagine the Beatles standing behind that curtain and scream some more. A young girl next to me faints. I don't feel so lonely anymore, but the desire to share all this, even this make believe fantasy, remains.