Paper

Dear Anya,

On my end, the fruits glowed in the night like coals in a fire. I do not know why they are shriveled on your end. Perhaps there is something in my world that there is not in yours, or perhaps the glow is nothing but a sham, a pretty image to hide a facade.

The first fruit, as far as I can tell, has no special properties other than being good in salad. The second…

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…has some interesting effects. On the plus side, I think I have a way to clean the pool now- the water doesn’t seem to harm me while I’m under the effects of the fruit, and it filters out pure.

The roof may be the one thing about the house that needs no fixing. I am, quite honestly, shocked. I decided to put a new floor in- it cost a pretty penny, but was quite worthwhile.

Do you really think Sabrina would like being in a house? She likes being in mine well enough, I suppose. She brought some art from the flea market the other day to hang on the wall.

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Anya, what is a girl? What is a boy? What is different about them, stripped of all bodily differences and societal context? I think that you are not a boy or a girl, Anya. I think you are you.

I’m not sure which one I am. I’m not sure that it matters. Maybe Boy and Girl are just contexts we use to further communication, and since I don’t communicate with many people other than Sabrina I don’t need a context for myself. I don’t think either context would help anyone understand anything in my case. I think that I am a Person who lives in a House, and I think that the context given by those words is sufficient. I don’t think anyone else would understand what I mean by a House, though.

Have you ever been in love? I’m not sure I ever have been.

Anya, sometimes I can feel the wallpaper flaking off of my skin. I can’t tell what it looks like, what color paint I am painted for the world to see, but I can feel it. Sometimes I look at Sabrina and her skin cracks, and I strip away layers of paper without ever reaching her center. Sometimes I think she can see me flaking, and I smooth my skin back onto my bones so that she doesn’t have to see my paper heart beating.

If I have a dream, it’s that one day I will not be so afraid of stripping all the paper away, ripping off every layer down to the plaster and plyboard and tearing that down too until I have no more walls and the sun can come in at last. Then I will be able to relax, to take joy in the work I do with my hands and not use it as an escape from the peeling facade of the world around me, the crumbling bricks that I cannot hold up with my only two hands.

Anya, please use the fruits wisely. They are both more than their paint. The one I know is good, delicious and filling, bringing an oh-so-temporary peace to the body and mind. The other, I think, is not what it seems, empty paper wrapped around a magic that is as old as an oak and as young as the plants in my garden, a shell through which your teeth click hollowly covering something both ancient and new, a life amongst many, a complete and self-contained fragment of a glorious whole.

In my next life, I think I would like to be a plant.

-Kia

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