To the homeless person who was screaming frantically at their demons last night…

I am sorry for turning away and idly standing by as others gawked. You are dangerously close to the truth and we are too cowardly to bear it.

I ducked inside a nice restaurant where I was served a meal and partook in “civilized” conversation. Up went the fancifully embroidered veil that hides me from the terror of annihilation: Is the kitchen too loud for me? Would this lovely meat pastry taste even better with ground pepper?

And here I sit, writing comfortably at my desk and imagining that I would open my door to you. The truth is that I would not. I am worse than the gawkers for believing that my awareness means anything. The moment I set the pen down my mind will busy itself with inanities while resting in its cozy bed of privilege.

It is raining outside and I look out the window that teases me with the possibility of a life lived. I haven’t checked my mailbox for days and I try to convince myself to care.

The idea of walking to it with linear purpose overwhelms me with boredom. I wonder: How many acrobatic back flips would it take to get there? How many balletic twirls? Flutters of my eyelashes? Sexy high heeled, hip swaying struts? Loud black-booted stomps?

I open up a spreadsheet, excited, for once, to do mathematics. I create columns, rows and categories; I measure distances and prepare formulas for calculations. I grow bored and wonder: how would these calculations go if my fingers were calloused, nail-bitten and strong? If they were long and slender with nails painted in eye-dazzling varnish? If they tapped with the the tickle of a ladybug’s legs?

Time passes. One more day without the mail.

I was given a tiny pot of daisies when I moved into my apartment. They are plain yellow daisies–nothing especially beautiful about them. Were they in a large field of flowers they would look unremarkable.

Neither is there anything special about the tin pot in which they live. Left in the garden section of a home goods store, it would reside at the dusty bottom of a neglected clearance bin.

I love these flowers because they wilt every single day. And every single day a tiny splash of water brings them instantaneously back to life. They are beautiful because they are fragile and resilient. I care for them because they show me their hurt as well as their joy.

If these flowers were a person, they would be my friend.

Today I ate scrambled eggs with my fingers because I realized it would be rude for them to be eaten without first being touched. I imagined that I was seated at a large table with others who followed my lead. After eating, my guests joyfully smeared the egg remnants over the bodies of one another. Aroused by this, the touching led to kissing and everyone merged into a genderless sea of oily flesh. They erupted into mutual orgasm and proceeded to fall into a slumber at the table.

I gave my untouched utensils a cheeky grin and reveled in the Sadean mess I had created by neglecting them. Content that I had given my eggs their proper respect, I proceeded to wash the dishes.

A STORY OF FRIENDSHIP

There was once a vibrant light who was taught that she should dim her glow. They told her that it was arrogant to shine so bright. Others led her to believe it was disloyal to glow when their light was dimming.

Eventually this vibrant light decided to turn her glow so low that she lived as a shadow, grateful to have any passing light near which to stand. What she never knew was that the other lights stood close to her because they wanted to shine bright as well; that they sought her incandescence as much as she sought theirs.

One day another vibrant light said to her, “Thank you for shining upon me. My life is brighter because of you.” Surprised by this, she responded, “But I am just a shadow–it is you who shine upon me.” The fellow light was confused, he stepped back and pointed to the other lights, “I do not understand what you mean–we all wait for a chance to shine with you. You brighten us as we brighten you.” In slight disbelief, the vibrant light looked around herself and realized that she was far from a shadow; that she had simply turned blind to her own glow.

From that day forward the vibrant light remained vibrant. When it was her time to dim, she smiled and felt gratitude for the many years she spent shining.