someoneimage-6240078-10731106 I once knew called me a prickly pear. Or a cactus flower. I can’t remember which one it was, which says more about our two decade long relationship than the relationship itself.
I never kept cactuses in my Manhattan apartment. They were bad 
luckimage-6240078-10731106. I read that in a feng shui book. And it stuck. But I was in love with this person. Or so I thought. Until I realized that I was actually in love with California. Where this person lived. And the cacti that sprouted everywhere.
We went to the 
desertimage-6240078-10731106. A lot. We would drive through the dirt and dust in a rusting pickup truck passed down from an artist mother. There was no air conditioning. There was no radio. Just us and dirt and dust. Me on the periphery of heatstroke. My lover driving and squinting in concern.
Once we went to Joshua Tree for a lunar eclipse. It was the height of the summer. I had brought glasses with silver lenses made of a 
foilimage-6240078-10731106 that was supposed to keep one from going blind. We stared at the sky, but didn’t see anything unusual.
The magic was happening on the sand. Shifting gold. Shadowy dunes. Rocks silhouetted. That’s where space really seemed to be. My lover and I wandered away from the narrow road. A galaxy of thorn like nests clustered in twisted trees. I leaned against rough bark that burnt my spine. There were two tongues in my silent 
mouthimage-6240078-10731106.  I was on the moon.
I had been thinking about a semiotic theory studied at University about the grotesque. That the grotesque was so disturbingly intoxicating because it was actually intensely beautiful. Unmanageably so. In photographs from that day my eyes glow amber. A snake slithered behind a cactus. My 
loverimage-6240078-10731106 and I filled our pockets with sticks and stones. We walked back to the car.
The lover is long gone. Victim of my bicoastal aspirations. Something inevitable. There are always
eager girls, younger and less complicated than me.
I think of the Joni Mitchell song sometimes. The one about the 
girlimage-6240078-10731106 so busy being free.

August 2012