I was taking a bath in the arts.
I wallowed in music--opera, folk, moody, soggy blues--dipped into the fluid emotions of a vivid alternative sound. I rolled in the glory of Impressionism's wake, and in the followers and rebels of all her daughters. I drank Keats, I slurped Wodehouse, I gulped a great mouthfuls of Shakespearian commentary.
I scrubbed my arms with a soupcon of post-war New Age abstracts and sudsed my thighs with the pseudo-poetry that was shaken and pieced together into frothy 50s hopelessness.
I was making myself clean, I thought, with the rough surfaces of the philosophy living on the bottom of these bottomless lakes
Until--one day--I noticed
That not every truth is equal.
That beauty does not equate with honesty
And abruptness is not synonymous with transparency
That the most open-armed (and highest) kites are still capable of self-deception.
I stood up quickly; the moist beauty slid off of me in rivulets
And when I turned around and knelt to look...
I could see them. They still shouted to me in chorus.
I stirred them around with a finger
to ask them questions about themselves.
I pulled the answers out, dripping
and set them on a scale.