Friendships erode as I, hermit, crouch over books and polished apples on my bed, the only space clear of clutter, it seems these not-yet-summer/soon!/days.
The clutter, I tell myself, will have to go first, before I can dance properly and have parties and attend to my friends. Paint kitchen, dust attic, clean out the refrigerator. File letters, photographs, Xeroxed articles, newspaper clippings. Gather unwanted clothes and books for the free-box at People's Park. Catalogue my desires, everything that I want to do, everything that I should do/to keep sane.
Organize my emotions, all that anger and fear and sadness; articulate them on paper, in stories, so that they don't taint/You're different, she said/my relationships, these fragile skeins of a hopeful and necessary fiction, so far untwisted, the fiction of a saner world.
Maybe first I should urge my friends, patience. Only I pause: I wonder if they will have enough, for me, the last one to leave, the one who stays behind to linger in the places sunlight and hands and language once caressed, for whom the memory is more enduring, more substantial, that the actual moment itself....
Be patient. Let me do what I need to do. Let me take care of myself.
And then, maybe, I can tell you I love you without feeling as if I said it out of duty, out of an unreflective allegiance to a decaying past, a blind devotion that may not recognize the women we are becoming.