Living is a kind of art, for the sake of nothing but itself. A perfection within its own boundaries. I speak like Wilde, and argue about how we should speak about the difficult unnameable things. I am becoming so many new women it feels unlikely.

I am unbecoming, unmaking at the same pace and it is hard to find time for all of it. There is a hopeful girl pressing flowers into frames and spending hours by the river with someone finally, finally smarter than herself, and a tired woman squeezing lemons in the kitchen with salt on her fingertips and in her words. She is languishing alongside a man of tears and tattoos, and she is learning new ways to turn to ash. I try to find the time to plant the tomatoes in the garden, but the Sundays are never long enough and there is always something new to read. We remake ourselves and the world outside looks on in awe at the audacity of the young-hearted. We leave behind almost more than we can stomach to look at.

I am still in the desert, still thinking about oranges on the sidewalk, still tucking weeds that look like they might bloom into the pockets of an old jacket. I am still so much even as I am less and less. I think about what I will draw onto skin next and I think about becoming something someone might one day read. A living text, a moving body of work. She speaks about the importance of being moved and we read The Importance of Being Earnest. I get so angry that we all end up laughing in a courtyard strewn with cigarette butts. There is a fluidity to the days and the themes beneath all of it and I am somewhere inside it all. Maybe, for the first time. I am drowning in the firsts; or maybe, not drowning but waving. I wonder what she would say, what they all might say. I try not to think of why so many are not saying anything at all. We pick out the cacti needles in my skin, and we try again.

It moves on, the ones we love and those we don’t, as we all do, as it always must. And yet, in all the spaces that are new and strange, oranges are still in my words and in my mind and frozen in that long ago summer-time car. I guess what I mean is, it is a good thing to be alive.

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