No goodbye, no final curtsey. All the lines I never wanted to say in the first place are unraveling in my brain, spilling out of my ears. And now I am free, walking, no running off stage, not looking back, moving into the dark, out into the night. My skirts trail behind me, gathering dirt and twigs and mud. Where are you going? The night owl asks, but he already knows I am going to that place where I don’t exist for anyone other than myself. Where I can breathe. In the deep forest, I climb a tree just to watch the water move over the rocks. My feet dangle, hanging between two places that the men believe I am fated to go. Heaven, an angel in heaven. Hell, a devil rolling about in the flames of hell. Someday, when I die, I suppose they will still be arguing about it, carrying on and on, until in disagreement I am dropped, fall off the pages and vanish from consciousness. Out of sight, out of mind? But, I’m more than they know. And so I shout up into the sky all of the things that I know myself to be. No one hears, I remain unrealized, unknown. Only the language-less listen: the night owl and the water and the fish and the flowers. With no more words, I’m empty. Crying until I am choking, I lose my balance, tumble downward. Hair electric in the current, like a mermaid. Cold holding my body like no man has. And I refuse to close my eyes. And I stay still until I am not sure whether my cheeks, my eyes, my throat are wet with tears or river water.