The ocelot cannot change her spots

(November 27, 2008)

The air smells frozen, and the blood in my veins flows like fire, searing patterns into my insides that I'd like to see if only that didn't involve letting them escape. Tonight's walk home from Bahen was bordering on the magical, with bystanders flitting into and out of the frame like mischievous fae, winking at me and turning into other people whenever I glanced away. Thoughts are everywhere, hanging from boughs in my brain like overripe fruit. It's the kind of night that leaves me feeling surprised when passing cars' headlights don't make my eyes glow phosphorescent like a cat's.

The leopard can change its spots, but not its nature; can I change either? Thump thump thump thump thump – there go another thousand days, shattering on the asphalt recently warmed by my sneakers, and nothing's much different. Maybe I've been wrong about ageing backward, like Merlin; perhaps I'm ageing along a sine wave, vacillating between local maxima and minima as I trot along the x-axis of my life. Projections based on current technology suggest that 27-year-old Sarah is going to be strikingly reminiscent of 17-year-old Sarah, less angst and more laugh lines notwithstanding.

I've spent nights wondering if I have an actual Self at all: some core material that defines me as a woman, as a human, as a living being, as a collection that chemicals that think they belong together.