Deep Thoughts on a Steep Roof: A Gargoyle’s Love Story

The holidays can bring out the full spectrum of emotions.  Yesterday, I was ready to put on my Santa Claus suit and spread good cheer to the entire world.  Today, I feel a bit like the grinch after a horrible day made my heart feel ten sizes too small.  When a day gets me down, and I need to clear my head, there’s only one place for this Modern Philosopher to go…up on the roof.

Don’t worry, friends, I’m not going to see if I can fly.  I just like to sit in silence, stare up at the night sky, and pretend all the stars are the Deep Thoughts I’ve yet to have.

The Modern Philosopher’s Curse is the inability to turn off his mind and cease the flow of Deep Thoughts, especially when the thoughts are the sort that cause black clouds to gather overhead.  We are not Robots (thank heavens!) who can simply power down and go blank in the noggin.  My strategy has always been to find a distraction, and when I’m up on the roof, the infinite beauty above me is usually all that it takes.

Tonight, however, I had more than the stars to reset my thought process.  The silence of the night was broken by the sound of powerful wings quickly approaching.  Before I could even turn my head, the source of the noise stood next to me.

“Good evening, Austin,” the Gargoyle said in his deceptively soft voice. 

“Hey, Gary,” I greeted him with a slight smile.  That wasn’t really the Gargoyle’s name, but he allowed me to call him that since his real one was too much of a challenge for my human tongue to untangle.

“I couldn’t help but notice you down here,” he explained as he relaxed his wings and took a seat next to me.  “You’re exuding such a colorful aura that it looks like a rainbow factory exploded on your roof.”

Gary was big on auras.  Apparently, a Gargoyle’s vision is so keen that it can see the energy being emitted from other living beings.  According to Gary, my aura is generally  emerald green with some blue accents.

“It’s been a rough day,” was more than I needed to say because Gary had already figured out that one from my Crayola 64 body halo.  “Thanks for checking on me.”

A crooked smile slowly worked its way across the Gargoyle’s chiseled face.  “You let me perch on your roof whenever I want, so it’s the least I can do.”

I had been surprised that first night, just about a year ago, when I’d stepped out onto the roof and discovered that someone had beat me to my favorite spot.  Gary introduced himself, explained that he was drawn by the scent of new roof, and offered his services.  As you know, Gargoyles have an uncanny ability to keep rain and snow from damaging a roof.  Having just had the new roof installed, I was all for anything that would keep it in pristine condition for as long as possible.

That’s how our friendship began.  There were some tense moments at first when The Woodburys (the ghosts who live in my attic…please read the post on the perils of trying to refinance a haunted house to learn more about them) tried to chase off the Gargoyle.  Eventually, the animosity vanished after Gary started arriving with news from other ghosts in neighborhood attics.  Now, the ghosts and the Gargoyle are tight.

“I know that you come up here for a distraction, so perhaps I could help you by telling a story,” he suggested.  “I have a perfect one to combat all your colors…a tale of overcoming adversity and finding true love.”

I’ve always been a big fan of romantic comedies, so I was all for this idea.  “Okay, Gary, tell me a story.”

“Once upon a time, there was a lonely Gargoyle who spent hour after hour, day after day, circling the skies because he had no true focus or center.  One day, he decided to raise his spirits by following a Student UFO Driver (please see my recent blog post on my annoyance with Intergalactic Student Drivers for more details…) as she weaved her way above the Penobscot River.  His plan was to quietly land atop the space craft, peer down into the cockpit, show off one of his most frightening faces and see how the pilot reacted.”

“He never got that far, however, because as he was cruising above the river, his eyes were drawn to the water and the most beautiful sight he had ever seen…a mermaid.  She had long brown hair and nutmeg eyes.  The Gargoyle was drawn to her, and forgot all about the Student Driver as he dove for the water.”

“Somehow, the feeling was mutual.  Even though the Gargoyle was old, ugly, and an infamous recluse, they quickly fell in love.  They knew theirs was a relationship that could never work.  She would never be able to set foot on land or be able to fly.  He would sink like a hideous stone should be ever try to enter the water.  They hid it from their friends, afraid they would never approve and force them apart.  They met in secret, ignored all the roadblocks before them, and managed to fall more in love every day.”

He paused here as if to fully savor the memory.  I had to smile.  Something about the story appealed to me, and Gary knew exactly what that was.  Gargoyles spend a great deal of time and sitting and watching…there isn’t a more perceptive creature on the planet.

“Sounds like Romeo and Juliet had nothing on these two,” I commented to snap Gary back from wherever it was his thoughts had drifted.

“You are right in that, my friend,” Gary agreed.  “When winter came and the temperatures dropped, the Mermaid explained that she needed to head for warmer waters.  She knew she couldn’t ask for the Gargoyle to wait for her since she had not been able to tell the other members of her school about her love for him.”

“The Gargoyle laughed off her concerns.  He assured her that he had waited an eternity to find such love, and there was no way he was going to let some time and distance get in the way of what made him most happy.”

“That entire winter, he perched on rooftops near the river so he would feel closer to her.  He ignored the snow that piled on his head and wings because his thoughts were only of her.  When she sent messages to him on the Winter Wind, he treasured every word.  He knew she was the one, and he was going to wait as long as it took.”

“When the Penobscot River finally thawed and the mercury climbed in the thermometers, his patience and faithfulness were rewarded.  His mermaid not only returned to him, but she had also told the others all about her Gargoyle love.  The entire school welcomed him.”

“That Gargoyle has never again been described as lonely.”

I sighed.  It was a beautiful story and exactly what I needed.  “You never told me the story of how you met your wife,” I told him.  “Thank you for trusting me with it.”

“I knew you would appreciate it, my deep thinking friend,” he assured me.  “Your aura certainly enjoyed it.”

I got to my feet and made a play at looking at the air around me.  “Is it green?  Am I back to normal?”

“Something tells me you will never be normal,” Gary quipped and let out a deep laugh that shook the rafters beneath him.  “And that is what I like about you.”

What do you do, Modern Philosophers, when you’ve had a rough day and need to clear your head?  Where’s your roof?  Who’s your Gargoyle?  I’d love to hear what you do to keep the black clouds from settling in above you.

Remember, if a Gargoyle and Mermaid can find love and happiness, you can find a way to overcome whatever challenge you’re facing…



About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Humor, Love, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Deep Thoughts on a Steep Roof: A Gargoyle’s Love Story

  1. gatesitter says:

    Lovely!!! My roof is my small front porch and the little pear tree that grows snug against it and the voices that speak to me come from the poet minstrals that spin out from shiny thin discs. One line that came to mind as I read your words, “three cords and the truth”. 🙂

  2. heysugarsugar says:

    Fabulous…I have two roofs…roof 1 is just behind my Tearoom ( I own a Tearoom and Bistro right beside the ocean in a village in Wales) so roof 1 is a little walk up to the ‘viewpoint’ where especially this time of year is deserted and I can look right across the Atlantic Ocean ( next stop USA and listen to the waves and the birds and the inner demonic voices will go for a while…Roof number 2 is WordPress..I come here and read the blogs I follow or freshly pressed and find it inspiring and restful and again the voices inside quiet for a while as I read…then I visit this Blog and smile all the way through your posts 🙂 love it, Ceri

  3. heysugarsugar says:

    No gargoyle..but I do have a ghost or maybe two ! the tearoom was built in 1800’s and often we get cappuccino cups suddenly hurling themselves off the shelves etc! but they haven’t spoken any words of wisdom to me yet..but hey who knows! lmao x

  4. Exactly what a brokenhearted mermaid needed to read today….thanks.

  5. Pingback: Up on the Roof: My Silent Night After a Turbulent Day | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

  6. yourothermotherhere says:

    I loved the story. It reminded me of the movie “Ever After” where the character played by Drew Barrymore asks, “A fish may love a bird, but where will they live?”

  7. I can’t get on my roof…I have a couple of places that I go to…one is my room…where I can lay down & think or read. The other is by my pool…where I can relax and contemplate nature.

  8. Pingback: Gary the Gargoyle Reveals His Secret Identity as a Life Coach to Struggling Superheroes | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

  9. floridaborne says:

    What do I do when I have a rough day? No matter how bad life is, my doggies are always there to greet me with wagging tails and an enthusiastic welcome. They’re also a lot cuter than a gargoyle.

  10. Austin says:

    Reblogged this on The Return of the Modern Philosopher and commented:

    This story from the Archives first introduced Gary the Gargoyle. It is also an extremely thinly veiled tale about my love for The Girl Who Melts My Heart.

  11. I loved this, you have such a vivid imagination. The next time I need to escape, I might just climb on my roof and tell my woes to the Gargoyle! Can I call mine Garfield? What a great night time read – I look forward to more mermaid-loving Gargoyle fun 🙂

    Until then, I’ll say goodnight (it’s almost midnight here!) way past my bedtime!

  12. Now you have Gary and the girl who owns your heart. Perfect! This explained a lot. Very cool idea, Austin.

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