No one's going to save me. I know that now. I think I've always known it intellectually, but the little prince or little whore that I keep locked up inside an ivory tower somewhere in the confines of this body has always looked towards the horizon for a tall figure on a white charger. He isn't coming.

Before somebody tells me that, "nobody is going to love you until you love yourself.." let me remind them that I do love myself. I've had to live with myself. How could I not? I know the places where I've been broken and glued together sloppily. I've traced every seam. I love myself. But I am the homely chipped decorative plate that grandmothers polish. I wouldn't fetch anything at Christie's.

There's a fire burning across the street in a garage. Men are yelling. Moments before I saw the orange and red of the flames dance and undulate on the whites of the blind I had chanted, "I want to wear red for a burning" paraphasing a line from an Anne Sexton poem. I would laugh if I was not struck by how unreal such a moment is. The fact that I have painful callouses on my feet from walking in bad shoes today is the only thing that convinces me that this is not all a dream.

There are white plumes of smoke now, illuminated by the lights from the fire truck. They curl up into the night sky, which is not quite black because of all the city lights. The people of the street are chattering incessantly and probably hindering the fire department in their job. I hate this neighborhood. Coming home each day isn't anything to look forward to, except for sleep.

Tears are not enough to put out fires. No matter how much we cry, the fires still burn. They still consume things we have cherished for years and leave them twisted and blackened, useless under the sun. We can call for a rescue, and the rescuers may come in their shiny red engines. But when the fire is gone and it has already burned, we are the ones who must clean up the mess.

And no one's coming to save me.

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