Here are a few lines about the following story:
This story is mainly intended for having a little bit fun while reading. So if you are somebody who takes the stories about our beloved couple seriously and cannot stand it if one would make a little joke about them, then you should consider not reading it. The others may make themselves comfortable, order a Pizza Speziale, open a bottle of Chianti (or two), and let the story affect you. In addition, it is highly recommended that you listen to the LP - or maybe CD – “Bat Out of Hell II” from Meat Loaf. However, it doesn’t have to be 10:30 p.m! Surely our couple don’t act in this story as we know them, but please pardon me - when I wrote this story, it just overcame me.
And, to be honest, if I was Catherine, I would, when Vincent wouldn’t “want,” most likely do every evening what she does here …
So have fun, and, if applicable, enjoy your meal,
Y I’d Do Anything For Love ... ¯♪
It was one of those frustrating evenings when you long for something desperately, and yet you know that you will never have a chance to get it. After the trouble and the hectic rush of the day, Catherine wished to curl up in Vincent’s arms and forget everything but his exciting body. But instead of that, she stood on her balcony, lonely, staring at the sparkling twinkling lights below her. The wet and chilly November weather had already caused her a mild cold, but she didn’t care about that.
She eventually turned away and went back into her living room. “Hang it all!” she cursed. It was the same thing every evening - and so it had been this evening, too. When he came, she was on cloud nine, although she longed for something more, but when he left - mostly under a pretext - her heart cried with pain and frustration. ‘How the heck does this unbelievable hunk of a man exude such power and manliness and send me into ecstasy merely by his presence … and then vanish like the proverbial genie into the bottle and leave me behind, totally afire with desire??’
Catherine felt like expelling a scream of rage after this thought. She stood there for minutes in front of the open door to her balcony then she turned abruptly and hurried to the bathroom, because the urge to put the idea instantly into practice grew stronger and stronger. She violently slammed the bathroom door behind her, and sent up a scream which, if she had been Below in the tunnels, would have rounded up the whole community.
After this, Catherine felt a little bit of a release, but it didn’t get rid of the heat inside of her. Whatever she did, it was useless. It neither helped throwing her sofa cushions across the room nor immediately following those with her slippers.
What should she do? Wrestle down her desire the whole night long, or wreck her furniture? Her composure wasn’t very strong, and making her furniture suffer from her frustration wasn’t a way out, especially because, in the long term, it would definitely be quite expensive.
Which alternatives did she have?
Firstly, … no, she wasn’t a pubescent teenager!
Secondly, … no, another man was out of question. Cheat on Vincent? She would rather join a nunnery.
Thirdly, … Number Three would be gritting her teeth and taking an icy cold shower then calling the pizza delivery service to order a big pizza and a bottle of red wine.
Although it had been pretty cold outside, she decided to try Number Three. [She didn’t want to think about what might come next if Number Three was a flop.] So after ordering - at 10.30 at night - a big “Pizza Speziale” and two (!) bottles of Chianti, she went into the bathroom and took an icy cold shower for a quarter of an hour, until she felt like an icicle.
Shortly after she got out, her pizza was delivered. However, she would have loved to kill the delivery man. Why the heck did they have to send a young, good-looking guy with blonde, shoulder-length hair? Why couldn’t it have been a cross-eyed, eyeglass-wearing student with a dental brace??? In her fury, she totally forgot to give him a tip, and slammed the door right in his face. Then she ate her pizza, frustrated, and ignored the fact that she normally didn’t eat so much. The Chianti, she noticed, tasted delicious, and so it wasn’t long until the first bottle ran out. However - she had two of them, after all …
Thus, Catherine tried desperately to distract herself from her grief, with the aid of her meal, and didn’t notice how the alcohol slowly but surely got into her head. When she decided spontaneously to play some music, she wondered why the floor was swaying so strangely under her feet. ‘We must be having one of those stupid earthquakes,’ she thought, annoyed, remembering vaguely that last time a precious flower vase, which she had received as a gift from Vincent twenty years ago, had broken into pieces.
‘Or had it been a gift from an aunt?’ Catherine waved her hand. ‘Alas! However…’ Amused, she noticed that this time nothing was broken - had she eventually glued her belongings down and forgot this fact?
After a short detour criss-crossing the room, Catherine arrived at her destination - her stereo system - and got some records from a rack. But she had trouble reading the titles. Sighing, she scrambled through the records until her slightly blurry vision stuck at an illustration of the Chrysler Building. ‘Strange ... How did the Chrysler Building get onto the cover of this record?’ She didn’t think she knew the album, so she put it on. Or, to be more exact, she managed, by a wondrous twist of fate, to put it on the record player and to start it.
The stuttering the first song began with almost made her laugh but when, a bit later, the first groovy rock sounds followed, she swayed to the beat of the music. Yes, she liked the rhythm of the music … ‘Oh’, she thought, ‘I wonder how Vincent would like this song? Father surely would think the record player had had an accident …’
¯ “Some nights you’re breathing fire, some nights you’re carved in ice, ¯
Some nights you’re like nothing I’ve ever seen before or will again.
¯ Maybe I’m crazy, but it’s crazy and it’s true, ¯
I know you can save me, no one else can save me now but you …”
… Catherine sang along, full-throated.
‘Oh, yes. Nobody but Vincent could save me’ - of this she was convinced. ‘But he … he doesn’t think of doing it! I wouldn’t wonder if I would eventually burst into flames and the whole building burn down with me! Maybe I really should go into a nunnery? But ... in a nunnery, without this tasty Chianti and this great music …’
For some time Catherine completely dedicated herself to the music. Then the alcohol served its purpose and she got tired. She barely heard the fifth song; the last thought she could think was to wonder why anyone should jump out of a frying pan and into a fire. Finally, the lines ‘Then I saw you like a summer dream, and you’re the answer to every prayer that I’ve ever said’ attended her into the realm of dreams.
After the visit to Catherine’s balcony, Vincent had drawn back into his chamber with the intention of enjoying a good book, but he wasn’t able to focus on it. After a while, he finally went to bed. When he had left Catherine, he had felt her disappointment, but for him it was clear that, unfortunately, he couldn’t spare her that. No, their relationship was predetermined to have its limits, and both of them had known this ever since they first knew each other.
At first, Vincent doubted that he could find any sleep, but then he dozed off. Shortly after, he woke up with a start. Frightened to death, he leaped up. ‘Who, for heaven’s sake, was screaming that loud?’
He instantly rushed out of his chamber but, to his amazement, the scream apparently didn’t come from the tunnel community. No, Father, torn from his sleep, assured him he didn’t hear anything, and his other friends drowsily wondered what was wrong with Vincent. No, everything was all right, and they asked Vincent anxiously what might have happened to him.
He withdrew to his chamber, puzzled and embarrassed. Then, after returning to bed, he noticed how a strange coldness was creeping up in him. He soon shivered with cold. But he couldn’t find an explanation for it … and why so suddenly? After freezing for awhile, he got slowly warmer, but now he felt that he also was getting tired. And at the same time he felt strangely … dizzy … It was nearly like he might have taken sleeping-pills … which, of course, wasn’t possible, for they wouldn’t work on him as they should. And so it came to be that – having finally fallen asleep - Vincent found himself in one of the weirdest dreams he had ever had.
He was ... in a strange temple-like building, and an odd sing-song filled the air. Although foreign to his ears, it nevertheless was appealing. Curiously wandering through the high-ceilinged halls, he heard voices and footsteps. Vincent was startled when two women came around a corner, but both of them just greeted him kindly and went on as if it was the most natural thing in the world, seeing a lion-man in a temple, and it remained for Vincent to wonder why the two women were dressed like nuns …!?
But they were not the only ones he saw. Again and again, “nuns” crossed his path, and every one of them was equally friendly towards him. It was not until he came into a great illuminated hall that he became aware that he was dressed just like them …?!?
Meanwhile, the music got louder. Before it had sounded calming; now it got rather rhythmic … like pop music … Behind him, even more nuns came into the room. They went towards a door. When Vincent gazed after them, he almost thought, to his amazement, to have seen Catherine.
He didn’t hesitate; he ran after her, rushing to the door, opening it, wanting to go through - and then he stood still in the door frame, rooted to the spot. The scene which was offered to him was -- indescribable …
Instead of, as he expected, finding a chapel in which people were praying, there, lying on mattresses on the floor, with pillows and blankets, women were lounging – the women who formerly were wearing nuns’ habits. But now they were very scantily dressed and, besides this, in definitely masculine company …
Bewildered as he was, he gave no resistance when he was welcomed in, but he realised, after some delay, that it was Catherine who was leading him, beaming with joy, and dressed in a robe which was far from nun-like, to a comfortable-looking resting place. Everything in him wanted to run away, wanted to resist, but he found himself going with her, without resistance, and letting her undress him …
The music grew louder, the room around them faded and, shortly after, he found himself in Catherine’s arms. When he noticed her hands caressing his body, the horror rushed like an icy cold stream through his veins.
Abruptly, Vincent woke up. Breathing heavily, he tried to orient himself. He needed some minutes to realise that he was in his chamber, and - thank the stars - alone! While his breath slowly calmed down, he felt that the dream from which he had just awoken was still very vivid within him … With a heavy sigh, he stood up and got dressed. Although it was still deepest night-time, he was sure he could not fall asleep again. ‘Not after such a dream …’
It was about half an hour later when a strange pressure rose in his head and didn’t want to leave again. After a while, he felt that this pressure came from Catherine … He anxiously wondered if maybe she was ill. He waited a little bit to see if the pressure would fade away, but it didn’t. And so - against his inner voice which called upon him not to do it - he went up to her.
It was dark yet when he arrived at her apartment. Standing on her balcony, he realised that the door had been left ajar. He touched the door, opened it a little bit, and entered hesitantly. His gazed crossed the room and was caught by a figure, sunken down, lying on the living room floor.
Instantly, all his doubts about entering her realm vanished, and he rushed to her side. But after the first shock, he noticed that she was only sleeping. With a sigh of relief, he tried to compose his racing heartbeat. He laid her on the sofa, closed the curtains, and switched on a lamp. It was then that he noticed the strange mess in her living room.
Pillows were scattered everywhere, and so were her slippers and her boots. One of her pictures was crooked, and somebody - herself?? - seemed to have dug into her records. The stereo system was on stand-by. On the coffee table he found a piece of pizza and a half-full bottle of wine … and on the floor another, but empty, bottle.
‘What happened here?’ he asked himself while he looked after Catherine. ‘Was she attacked by somebody?’ He searched for signs of injuries, but there were none. ‘No, I would have felt it …’ She was dressed; apparently nothing had been stolen … there was just a strange odor …
When he bent down to her he noticed, with no small amount of bewilderment, that Catherine … HIS Catherine ... was drunk! Yes, there was no doubt, she smelled of alcohol, and now she slept, and he was sure that nothing and nobody could wake her up.
There was nothing to do then but bring her to her bed and wait. Because he was not intending to leave her alone, he tidied up and then watched over her as she slept – while he stayed in the living room. When he picked up the records and, just of curiosity, sampled a song from the record in the stereo, he raised his eyebrows in astonishment. Such music didn’t usually rank among her favorites … and for him, it would take some getting used to. Nevertheless, he listened to the song because the lyrics fascinated him, and it seemed to him as if he could speak the words – or, in fact, sing them - himself.
¯ And I would do anything for love. ¯
I’d run right into hell and back.
I would do anything for love.
¯ I’ll never lie to you, and that’s a fact. ¯
But I’ll never forget the way you feel right now –
Oh, no – no way –
¯ I would do anything for love ¯
But I won’t do that …
While listening to the singer, he eventually became aware of what could have induced her to do something like this. Didn’t he himself feel, countless times, how much she longed for him? And how much she had suffered when he left, leaving her behind with her longings? In such moments, he had tried to close his mind to her. However, her pain and disappointment had reached him. He groaned when he remembered how bad he had felt in those moments … and how strong the temptation had been … He would bear everything, each and every pain he suffered himself - but bringing her pain, too, was the last thing he wanted to do.
“Well then, Catherine,” he murmured, “you have won …”
A dull pain brought Catherine out of the peacefulness of her sleep and brought her rudely back into life, reminding her of what could happen if she - like last night - let herself go to such an extent. But her memory was still a little bit battered, and she asked herself, moaning, who was banging her head with a sledge hammer so hard. After a slight attempt to get up, she let go of trying, and uttered something between a sigh and a groan.
“You shouldn’t even think about it, Catherine,” she suddenly heard a voice saying.
With an unwilling grumble, she murmured, “Don’t shout like that, damn it …”
Who the heck dared to break into her apartment, and so early in the morning, and call so loudly that her ears nearly fell off her head?! If Joe had come up with this idea, she swore, he would bitterly regret it!
“Joe, what the hell are you doing in my bedroom?” she grumbled. It didn’t even cross her mind that she had someone else entirely in front of her.
“I don’t know what he could be doing in your bedroom,” Vincent answered, amused, “but maybe you had better not leave it next time.”
Catherine, confused, tried to turn her head towards the voice. Now she noticed that the voice didn’t sound like Joe’s … but … rather like … Vincent’s …
But how ...? And why ...?
“Vincent?” she finally ventured to ask.
“Yes, Catherine,” he answered quietly, and again it seemed to her as if he had shouted right into her ear. He held a cup to her lips and whispered, “Drink this. The coffee will do you good.”
Obediently, she did what she was told, while desperately trying to remember when Vincent had arrived and what had happened. The last thing she knew for sure was that he came to her in the evening and - was gone again. Then she also remembered her frustration, and the anger which had overwhelmed her, and that she had ordered something to eat - a pizza. And lastly, she remembered the wine, which tasted so good … and of which she obviously had drunk a lot …
Slowly, one piece of the puzzle connected to another, and so she finally was aware that she had a major hangover. And yet she couldn’t get how Vincent fitted into the story. But she couldn’t trouble her head about it at the moment, for shortly after, she fell asleep again.
The next time she woke up, she felt very much better. She was astonished when she noticed that, outside, dusk was falling again. Her head, she thankfully realised, seemed to have quietened, and she felt well enough to get up. A little bit precariously, she staggered into her living room, and saw somebody turning towards her. It was Vincent.
“Catherine? How do you feel today?”
“Better,” she assured him, and grumpily wished she sounded as confident as she wanted to be. “What … how did you … and why …”
“I felt that something was wrong with you,” Vincent said as he led her to the sofa. “When I arrived here and saw the balcony door open, I came in and found you unconscious. Somebody had to care for you, and so I … I did …” he stuttered. “You were not in good condition when you woke up,” he said, picking up the thread. “So I decided to stay, in case you would need something.”
‘Would need something … All I need is you, nothing else - not even your clothes,’ Catherine thought, and remembered the reason for her caper. ‘Pha!’ If he thought she would be ashamed that he saw her this way, he was totally wrong!
“Oh, Vincent,” she murmured, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t want you to see me this way,” escaped her lips - she could have slapped herself in the face.
“Don’t, Catherine,” he whispered, embarrassed, and added, “please, just tell me, why?”
“Because …,” she began, and fell silent again. But then she thought, ‘Why not??’ “Because … I was so angry, so enraged last evening, I just needed something like this, otherwise I would have exploded with anger,” she confessed. Then Catherine hesitated. Should she go on? When she saw that he was really listening to her, she gave herself permission to go on.
“Every evening when you leave, I wish you would stay, and I got more and more angry and disappointed when I thought of what we could … share together.”
She noticed him flinching a little bit. “Will you leave again now? Will you go and flee from our emotions? So go on! But then I’ll really join a nunnery!” she threatened him, remembering the crazy dream she had sometime last night.
Vincent got as red as a beet when he remembered the dream, and now he suspected that it had been Catherine’s dream which he, you could say, joined.
Catherine chuckled cheerfully. She didn’t know what he thought, but now she was afloat again, and she intended to use this. So she rose, went up to him, held up her arms, flung them around his neck, and looked at him. “Vincent! Tell me what you want! But consider your words well, because … because …”
“Because?” Vincent repeated and watched her attentively.
‘Dash it, and again he’s upsetting me …’ - “Because … otherwise I will burn down the whole city with the fire that is burning inside of me,” she murmured then fell silent. The look in his eyes was downright hypnotising. For a moment, she was captured by it. Then she became aware of what nonsense she had just spoken. To her relief, he didn’t focus on it.
“I want … I want to hold you ... to be with you forever ... and I want -” He took a breath, searching for the right words, then he quietly said, “… to be in each and every dream of yours!”
“You were, forever!” she answered, and added, “You even were last night!”
“I know,” he said, subdued.
“You … you …,” she stuttered in amazement. “How?”
“At first I felt cold, then I got tired and fell asleep and found myself in a rather strange nuns’ convent … where I saw you, too. But the activities of those women didn’t fit well into a convent …”
Catherine cleared her throat, embarrassed, when she remembered what she did there with Vincent …
“Indeed …” - ‘… and yet, I would want to do it again right now,’ she completed the sentence in her thoughts.
In spite of his insecurity, a smile flashed across Vincent’s face. “Catherine, I …,” he began, hesitantly, “I know that it can’t go on like this between us, but … then again, I’m afraid … of myself …”
When she saw the fear in his eyes, all her frustration and anger instantly went up in smoke. No, it was impossible to be angry with him any longer, the more so as he wasn’t really to blame for his uncertainty. Father’s education was to blame, his permanent intervention in his life. So her anger turned another way, and she had to suppress the impulse to go to Father on the spot and give him a good talking to.
“Catherine, please don’t be angry at me anymore,” he said, depressed when he felt her turmoil.
Catherine looked up and she shook her head. “No, oh no … I’m not angry with you, but with the egotistic, bossy, all-dominant patriarch who has only thought of driving this idea out of you instead of really talking about it with you,” she ranted.
Vincent looked at her, a little bit perplexed. He knew he wasn’t meant, but who …?
When Catherine saw that he didn’t guess against whom she railed, she added, “Father, of course! It’s due to him that I have to sleep here all alone every night!!”
Seeing her outrage, Vincent smiled slightly. ‘Well, maybe she is right … although Father’s intentions were the best.’ But he avoided telling her this, because she surely wouldn’t accept this as an argument. Vincent laid a hand on her cheek, and said quietly, “Catherine, I just confessed to you that I want to be in your dreams. Would you maybe help me ... to be more for you than just a dream? I cannot promise you that I can now … today … but I don’t want to flee from you anymore. Never again.”
She looked up at him, speechless. For a moment she felt like she was in a dream … but this was better. MUCH better! Looking at him, she slowly began to smile. “That’s ... oh, Vincent! I’ve waited for so long! I’ll give you as much time as you want! And if I should burn too hot then you just take the fire-hose and put it out!”
When she became aware of what she had just said – and of the various ways it could be understood - she instantly turned scarlet red. ‘Oh, god! Why can’t I keep my big mouth shut?’ “I ... I think the wine is still going to my head,” she said, coughing slightly to prevent a fit of laughter.
Vincent lowered his eyes, on the one hand to cover up his embarrassment, on the other to refrain from laughing. But then he managed to say, “I … think the only way to put out this fire is to jump into it together, isn’t it??”
She looked up at him, smiling, and she nodded.
He silently took her hand and led her into the bedroom. At the threshold, she suddenly stopped. Vincent looked at her questioningly.
“And if Father should venture to make a scene with you,” she said, “I personally will put him on trial and sentence him to three months of rock music without any probation!!”
Vincent thought that this surely would be the worst punishment she could come up with for the leader of the tunnel community!
Catherine returned once more to the living room and started the record player before she took Vincent by the hand, leading him into the bedroom. It was nearly like in their dream, with one small difference, however: This time no nuns were present!
♪ … Kytheira, April 2002,
translated May 2016
Y Excerpt of text from “I’d Do Anything For Love’ and ‘Out of the Frying Pan’
from the album ‘Bat Out of Hell II’; Interpreter: Meat Loaf