Title: My Body’s a Boat
Fandom: The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox
Notes: For . The prompt is “snowed in.” Commentary contains quotations from The Vintner’s Luck and some spoilers for the novel.
The Vintner’s Luck is the most beautiful book I’ve read all year. It’s the story of Sobran, a vintner in 19th-century France, and the angel he meets one night when he’s sixteen. They become friends, for a short while enemies, and then fall in love.
I choose this story to fulfill the “snowed in” prompt because the first time they make love is during a snowstorm. There’s no period music in the mix: it’s more intended to convey the dreamlike feel of the chapter, their trust and understanding of one another (by this point in the novel they have known each other for over 20 years) and their gentleness with each other.
(A movie version has been made. I haven’t seen it yet, though I understand the Sobran/Xas love story has been completely removed. I feel that’s a tragedy.)
♪ It’s Probably Me – Sting
You’re not the easiest person I ever got to know
And it’s hard for us both to let our feelings show
Some would say I should let you go your way
You’ll only make me cry
If there’s one guy, just one guy
Who’d lay down his life for you and die
I hate to say it
I hate to say it, but it’s probably me
“We’ve all had to deserve you, Sobran.”
♪ Broken Open – Adam Lambert
Broken pieces, break into me
So imperfectly what you should be
Lay here, it’s safe here, I’ll let you be broken open
Hide here, confide here so we can be broken open
“I knew I was in danger from the moment I proposed visiting you a second time. I knew because God warned me by sending the whirlwind that pulled a few feathers.”
“But you still came every year.”
“God is my maker but not my master. And I don’t think he was saying ‘Thou shalt not’, rather ‘I think you’re going to regret this.'”
♪ I’ll Follow You Tonight – Anna Ternheim
The worst mistake to make
Or just the kind of promise you simply have to break
So please turn out the lights
And I’ll follow you to any doorstep, any hallway
If Sobran was going to talk about downward slopes the angel would increase the gradient till there was no gripping, till the slope was a cliff face without handholds and the man’s only salvation was in the angel’s arms.
♪ All We Are – Matt Nathanson
I wasted, wasted love for you
Traded out for something new
Well, it’s hard to change the way you lose
If you think you never won
Sobran stopped speaking, though his mind continued to clutch convulsively at lost time, six years of lost time. It would be another whole year till he saw the angel again.
♪ Like a Hemisphere – Vonda Shepard
I don’t wanna go through this life just getting by I want to fly
I don’t wanna go through this life not asking why
I need to know why we are here we are here together now
I don’t wanna go through this life just to die
Xas was saying, “I don’t — just because you do — love me. I don’t. Sobran. Sobran, I want you to wake up, please, and do something you did. Again, please?”
♪ Red Mountains – Jorane
I’ll take you to red mountains that rise out of water
I’ll keep you in a house under three full moons
And i’ll caress your forehead until your hair turns gray
And I’ll follow the lines of your face
My body is a boat and you’re travelling in me
“…And beside the Jodeau disorder is the Jodeau luck. Do you no longer believe in your luck?”
“You’re not my luck, fallen angel, or even my dearest friend. You’re my love. My true love.”
♪ Reverse of Shade (Sleepy Version) – The Windupdeads
Something’s caught in the bushes
Someone left us a note
Of where to find what we’re after
What to feel when we are down
He was exhausted, but love was never finished, it had its rights, it had the right of prophesy.
♪ I’m There Too – Michelle Featherstone
I see me in your eyes
And I’m tears you cry
And when you fall apart
And I’m dying from a broken heart
I’m there too
He raised the angel’s face to his and gazed — then lay down with the angel to warm him, already in a stupor of sorrow, his lips resting lightly against the angel’s own.
♪ No Ordinary Morning – Chicane
There were no lies between me and you
You said nothing of what you knew
But there was still something in your eyes
Left me helpless and paralyzed
Then he was in the big surf of pleasure, blind to everything but what was immediately before him, the congestion of this angel’s deft, expressive mouth, the flushed, racked body he could not believe was his to touch.
♪ Streamlined – Slow Runner
I want to be
Lost and found
The angel’s hands were against his face and neck and he was being kissed, and it wasn’t a kiss of trouble, of crossed swords, but the kiss of a coupled harness — the present suddenly hitched to the past.
♪ Will I See You In Heaven – the Jayhawks
Thought we could live forever
But there’s more to life than we’ll ever know
Tell me why’d you have to leave so soon
When I’ve got a thousand questions to ask of you
“You imagine I’ll be there at your deathbed?”
“And if I stayed away, would you live for ever?”
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