Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I spent what felt like a whole year at parties that smelt like small boys had been lighting ants on fire with damp matches. I was on a search, a search for men with track marks and heart tattoos that would sweep me up in their burly infected arms and take me to a place where perfection wasn’t even an option. Everyone else expected me to be something more than nature, an artificial girl without a spine. With these people, I could be the opposite of what everyone else saw. I could be tough and angry, and I could fondle the cigarettes that I was too young to be smoking suggestively. I could be, like we all were, rebellious.

And then one day, I remembered the first time I got close enough to a firefly to see that it wasn’t something beautiful, that I was just caught in the middle of some buggy mating dance. And I remembered how satisfying it had been as a kid to drop a plate when I was mad, just to hear it smash, because there were other plates just there in the cabinet that we could use. I thought about how there were flowers that bloomed in the artificial day of the nuclear explosions, and that they once made the snow inside snow globes out of grated up bone.

I discarded the mask of the child and walked back out into the sunshine.

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