The Glorious Between
We are born for no reason, we die for no reason, but everything between is glorious.
Alessandra Elizabetta Marsh
Emily is dying. It is that thing in her head. Worse, she cannot remember her past, and can retain only fragments of the present. It feels as if she has never existed.
She is tucked up tight, holding her breath, suspended in time.
“I am not my body,” she often says, meaning she feels as if she is more than that; that we are more than just flesh and bone. But she knows, too, that reality has an awkward way of intruding into what one might hope for, and that her impending death is inevitable. In the end, she is her body and a broken one at that. It is just the way it is.
Or is it?
Enter Alessandra. Enter Patrick. Patrick, a world class neurologist and Emily’s lover. Alessandra, who can speak to the river, summon the sun, and redirect the moon with the tips of her fingers.
Our world is always at that instant of time when the first breath of life opens the lips and throws back the head, the instant when atoms collide and shower the universe with something new.
Alessandra Elizabetta Marsh
"The Glorious Between is a sinuous, luxurious exploration of what makes us who we are. With a fascinating beginning and glorious descriptive detail, it is the kind of novel made to both savor and ponder." - Independent Book Review
"The Glorious Between is a cinematically staged, magical exploration based in reality, while guiding the reader to parallel realms where love conquers and lovers can find unsullied contentment." - Feathered Quill
"I seldom as a reader will reread a book but The Glorious Between is a book that I will read several times because there is just so many life lessons and hope in this wonderful book." - Amazon Reviewer
Read Chapter One
PROMISE OF SPRING’S RETURN
With life in the offing, the promise of spring’s return implicit, winter clings to the city like a shroud.
“So, tell me again about the first time we met,” Emily said.
“The time I saw you, but you didn’t see me, or the time after that?”
“The first-first time. How did you know it was me?”
“You were the most beautiful woman in the coffee shop.”
“You were drinking hot chocolate.”
“Ha! It must have been me then!”
“Tell me more.”
“I felt something important had happened.”
“Ahh! …Go on then! …It was winter.”
“Yes, it was; it was only a few months ago.”
“Life was in the offing….”
“Yes… It was… It is. You see all the color, the music, the discord and fury, but it’s all from a distance.”
“Are you talking about me?” Emily asked, tipping her head.
“Are you sure you’re not talking about you?”
“No, I’m sure – I’m talking about you.”
Emily laughed. “Go on, then.”
With life in the offing, the promise of spring’s return implicit, winter clings to the city like a shroud punctured by buildings reflecting grey sky and twisted cloud from the darkly mirrored surfaces. Rain and sleet pour down, turning to a covering sheet of ice: white and grey, snow and sand, the pure and defiled; the city is full, almost overflowing with souls with their heads down, eyes shielded, their feet in the slurry that accumulates by the curb.
“I have a soul!”
“Some say I don’t. I heard them talking.”
“No, it isn’t. I have no memory – nothing true. I dream my life. I am invested with God and Satan in equal measure and that’s all, you see? I actually heard someone say, ‘God and Satan in equal measure.’ God, what an asshole! I know what I am. I am splices of film on the floor, a scratched record, photos scattered all about. Where’s God in all that, I ask? Satan, maybe.”
“I get it.”
“There’s no plot, there’s just whatever pops into my head in whatever order; whatever I hear, whatever I’m told.”
“Where’s the soul in that?”
“I’m just a body – a broken one at that; at least, this part up here isn’t all that great.” Emily tapped her head.
“Will you give me a break?”
“Keep going! I’m joking! Keep going!”
“God and Satan aside?”
For those who do not believe in the soul, the city is also inhabited by cars, buses, trucks, struggling up the icy streets, belching exhaust, their shine hidden by an encasement of salt, black snow around wheel rims and windshield wipers slapping back and forth streaking the glass, impossible to keep clean.
“I could have added paperback novels to my list of analogies – perhaps I should have.”
“You find the book – that’s me, the book – just lying on the tabletop, or under the chair, front and back cover missing, whole sections torn out; you start to read but you’ll never figure out what’s going on.”
“Is this my story or yours?” Patrick asked patiently as he sat back.
“May I continue?”
“I don’t know, can you? Can you begin without me telling you the ‘what, where, and when’?”
“The ‘what-where-when’ is the coffee shop.”
“Continue, then – but don’t screw up.”
“Don’t forget any of the important parts!”
Emily laughed again, knowing she had got him on that.