I pull my hair up into a messy bun teetering atop my head, open up a bottle of white and walk out into the garden in the fading tangerine evening. The last rays of autumn sun turn to beautiful colored beads of sweat sliding down the chilled glass, tiny globes of peaches, pinks, roses, golds. I light a cigarette and watch the droplets glide, remembering the way you traced the curve of my shoulder as you undressed me for the first time, my body reacting with pulses of warm sweet nectar. We are never quite the same person we are at the beginning. People change like seasons, evolve. Some do, in some respects and not others, but their troubles are nothing to me at the moment as all I want to do is shed the remnants of another day gone by, my body and spirit offered up for someone else’s ridiculous wet dreams of power and brutality. I know I’m not the only one and it’s just the way of the world but something in me has never stopped believing there could be more. Different. More honest. Less moral and more genuine. What in this life could ever possibly be worthy of the splendor of your body, soul, mind, and spirit? Doesn’t it have to be more glorious than numbers, deadlines, time clocks. We are so reduced, so imprisoned. Too accepting of what is and how it’s always been. Acting like there is some sort of way back to what once was when what once was is a lie we’ve been telling for centuries anyway. We chase our money and we chase our tails and try to get our kicks along the way in secret. Behind a closed office door somewhere in a yellowed building across town, a woman gets on her knees to ask her boss for a raise. She hates it but it kind of turns her on to be reminded who’s in charge. She isn’t sure of much these days because the loneliness is palpable when she gets home and crawls inside the emptiness. She cries a lot. She smiles when she knows she is supposed to, though. Telling no one seems to be the only way to make sure her existence isn’t too tight a fit. As the sounds of the freeway running close to the yard pour over me like one of those white noise sound machines my therapist places outside her office supposedly to protect my privacy but I think it’s more to protect the yoga practitioners on the other side of the door from hearing my sordid tales of self destruction, I pour glass of wine and down it rather too quickly. As the chattering teeth of my ‘generalized anxiety’ finally turn to liquid heat, I look up at the trees as the little birds flutter and chase each other in circles. I recall the taste of the hot pressure of your kiss and how our bodies sunk into each other perfectly. There is no way out, of course, only in further and further until it’s all blackness or light, no one can say for sure. But until I can figure a better plan I’ll keep writing. Digging. Disrupting. Fantasizing. What else is there to do when this life is madness. Everybody’s drowning, and everybody’s thirsty.