The sun crashed into the Pacific last night, Colorado streets washed clean in tangerine tides. Dad is sitting in the kitchen, mumbling about the Santa Ana winds and St. Elmo's Fire and Hurricane Giselle. It's been a few years since I was a child, I think, but still I wish I were one. Foolish, brave.

I am in my room, watching the pictures on my wall shake with the earth's sobs. Paris falls from its hook onto my bed. Giza fell last night, but I was too tired to pick up the pieces. I want to see these places, even now. At present Eli is at school for marine archaeology, and I want to tell him to capture me some history all for myself—bring me some German sea-coral or some fossilized Russian drink—but it is against the rules, and Eli wouldn't break them, even for me.

I am drawing pictures. That's what I do with my spare time... graphite on parchment, spare, skeletal. I like the look of things without their masks. I like the mountain streets without their dust. I like the oceans waves to kiss my windows. I like the world clean and easy to understand.

It is. Clean, I mean.

I hear Dad's head hit the wall, once, twice, six times. He punishes himself when he doesn't have the answers. Tomorrow he will be soft and sad, but tonight he will have fury like a forest fire. I wish I could help him, but I never have the answers he wants. I was never as smart as Eli. I don't try anymore. I stay very small and very quiet.

Eli brought me books last Christmas. He found them in a library in Montreal and his boss said they were worthless. I don't think they're worthless. I like to read about girls with boyfriends and schools and mothers. I like to read about problems that aren't real. They're so very neat, books; you shut them and the problems stop right away.

I rub a bit of razor across the skin of my thigh. It doesn't hurt, not really, but I like to see the blood. It reminds me that I am one of the living.

That I am lucky here.