I’m washing my hair in the shower, looking out the open window. On the other side of the avocado tree, the purple trumpet vine with birds sticking their narrow beaks into the unopened flowers—there’s a naked little boy on his second-story porch. He lives on the other side of the street above the betting parlor. He’s dancing to some music from the TV. (I can see the TV going in the other room.) Here we are, naked. Separated mostly by—air. The things that separate us from each other are so—literally—superficial. I imagine everybody down on street level. Like we’re actually all naked, walking around pretending we aren’t.
It occurs to me that the self is like a pane of glass to clean so you can see through. Or a new color, or a flavor. Not an end in itself. Easy to let go of—to stop investing with substantive reality. The hard part is hanging onto it.