You are not from here. Where you come from is a suburb or that’s what you’ve been told to call the array of houses along streets you learned by heart and believed to be your home. Growing up, your house was roughly equivalent to the other houses on the block and you learned to distinguish people not by where they lived or what they drove or wore but by behavior. Those people get drunk after dark and sometimes shout. These people need their lawn to be perfect and those people there walk two huge dogs. And you … what? How do you behave? What do you do again and again without being told, without being paid?
You open your eyes. The radio is playing a familiar song and when it is finished, your favorite DJ from the time you were a teenager identifies the music: Lady of the Island.
You remember reading the DJ’s obituary last year, the slim shiver that ran down your spine when you discovered this voice from your past had been forever extinguished and so you sleepily wonder if this is some form of time travel? Here you lie in your cocoon, your apartment, yet your mind has drifted seamlessly back to another place and decade. You yawn, stretch, and turn over on your other side. Once again you fall asleep and once again you reawaken. This time you leave your apartment and you are not in the island-city where you live these days but you are standing on a block of similar houses. And somehow without being told you understand that the agreement struck among those who live in this place is that everyone will possess the same as the rest yet superiority will still be expressed though only through color. And so envy is reserved for those who clothe themselves in fabrics colored verdigris or gold while most people appear in a dull red sometimes referred to as “brick.”
Meanwhile on the next block there is a women who sits just inside the window of a squat house with a tall drink standing before her on the table. The drink contains stimulants of raw emotional states: desire, repulsion, dread, awe, boredom, compulsion, misery, surprise, ecstasy, wonder, zeal, hysteria, grief, trust, apathy, etc. The woman can feel the hard cushion of her seat as she idly toys with the stem of the glass. To drink means forever after she will be able to precisely identify the stirrings of these passions. To drink means her moments of confusion — her moments of paralysis will end, she will be able to clarify and to act.
Q: What is important to consider?
A: The vulnerability of those who desire.
Q: Why does it sadden you to see a man vulnerable?
A: He is more helpless than a woman in the same state.