the naked woman

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The naked woman on the ledge outside the window is a victim of accidie, or maybe an exhibitionist, and it would be ‘interesting’ to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes a difference whether the naked woman is about to commit a mortal sin or is about to register a political protest or is about to be, in the Aristophanic view, snatched back to the human condition by the fireman in priest’s clothing just visible in the window behind her, the one smiling at the telephoto lens. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of choices. We live by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting shadows which are our actual experience.

Didion. But not exactly.

At midnight I was angry. Running in the rain. Shouting. To Flynn. She said perfect things, which I can’t remember. Because I do that when I shout; or when things are said in the rain. I forget. But she’ll say them again. Because that’s what I’ll need. And that’s what she does. Like Didion.

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