“You stand on the mud,” she said, “not in the mud.”
The sky was blue that day, and the clock struck twelve. Students walked back and forth on the quad, and the young man stood corrected.
“Our feet were in the mud, though. They were swimming in their own brown way.”
“Why do you always focus on the colors?” she asked. “Feet don’t swim in a brown way, just as fish don’t swim in a blue way.”
“Well, I think they do,” he said.
“Well, I think you’re silly,” she said, and walked away. Her backpack was yellow and green, just like the flag of Brazil.
He thought about how she walked in a green and yellow way.
And the people bowed and prayed
to the neon god they made,
and what difference does it make?
I love you so much anyway.
And in your breast I gently laid,
your arms surround me in the lake,
I am joined with you forever.
And the people bowed and prayed,
and what difference does it make for you and me?
All delighted people raise their hands.
At the cafeteria, Anne and the boys eat sandwiches at the table.
“I hate the firestars,” a boy says. All nod along, except Anne. They do not ask her why she doesn’t nod along. But this time, she feels the need to say something.
“But it will end soon,” she says.
All the boys turn their heads, a little befuddled. Perhaps the vagueness of the comment has given it a cosmic dimension that confuses them. She clarifies it.
“Whether we like it or not, it’s going to end soon. And then we’ll be adults who can’t be awake through the night, and we’ll miss it,” she says.