• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 06

Lost and Found: The Drifter’s Journey

Whalebone cages ribs. Tulle scratches fences. Malleable steel puts the hoop in hoopla. Dainty domes have no place in narrow chocolate, strawberry and vanilla pathways. Only pistachio can soothe my inactive palate. Clouds drift. I escape whalebone, tear the net and knead milky metal into abstract art. Those I leave behind turn their heads at bareness, but they do not understand that I am not naked—just free. I select my undergarments. I imitate the ebb and flow of my chiffon skirt. No longer getting stuck, no longer squeezing through, no longer brushing against muddy tones. I yearn for pastel. A sugary cone awaits at the waist. I do not want to sit on someone else’s throne. I do not want to be licked against crispy wafers. The eaters can stick paper parasols in piña coladas. I am no cocktail. I am nobody’s dessert. I crawl between eager fingers. Where am I? Wherever I am, it tickles. Dingy. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like that.” The passerby passes by. I thank him for the warning and enter Dingy anyway. Shells open. Nuts are crushed. Pistachio falls upon me like refreshing summer rain. The ones that are eating chocolate, strawberry and vanilla are offended because I prefer pistachio and choose dark places, but it is not dark here at all. They hurl choc-chip meteorites at me, but I open wide, let the rocks come inside and then I spit the bitter chocolate out. I am a pacifist, so I fling back snowflakes. I walk and wander in this wonderful space. I discover tulle for tutus and crinoline for hoop skirts—like sugar—to be consumed in moderation. Five times a week. A sign in Broadway style bulbs: Drifters welcome—a reading room. I am melting. Once, I would have concluded that melting meant dying. Now, here in this lost—found pretty pastel palette, I become an ocean of green.