Argument against a virtue

The mug of white warmed milk. The overbred, ribboned dog. The kiss unkissed, or too dry, too tame. This life belongs to the wretched, the dirty. There's no sense in mending it, not now. Your life is no less or more a life than that of the woman hanging her husband's bleached boxers in the sun for the sixtieth, seventieth, hundredth time. What she remembers, you will never know.

What do you remember, above all?

Is your mind so clean, your memories so crisp, you've made yourself a bed you dare not sleep in?

As your skin wrinkles, let your life wrinkle too. Let it droop, hang, pull where it shouldn't. Take on the mud, every chance you get. Sully yourself. That way, there may just be something original to remember—something, until you came along and stepped in it, that had never been noticed, never been witnessed. Pure is only the state before experience, nothing more. Purity is incubation. Get dirty. Set the stain. Don't try to scrub it out. Let it be.

You were nothing when you were pure, and you knew it. Now: wish to be spoiled, ruined further. Yearn for the smeared chocolate, the spilled wine, the paper-cut blood spotting the surface of the warmed milk. Gather the filthy, affectionate mongrel into your arms. Beg for the wettest kiss, awkward and wrong, teeth and tongues battling without shame.

—Feb 2011