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Some things spiral outward. I imagine the petaled flourish of a flower, or an ever-unfolding Nautilus shell. I imagine widening black-lashed sky-blue eyes, or an opening hand. I imagine women. I imagine time.

I, though, am destined to be not among them. My mind turns counterclockwise, circling inward, always, in a dizzyingly endless fall. My heart is hopelessly knuckled. For as long as I can remember, I’ve curled inward instead.

Often I’ve wished I were otherwise. The world outside is a beautiful one, after all, and the richness and insanity of it too sweetly glorious not to explore. The world outside, surely, is more strange and amazing than the one scurried safely within. Still, no matter how frequently I whisper this, and no matter how desperately, little in my stubborn psyche changes. I prefer, it seems, the particular. I prefer that which only I can see.

I am not sure why.

Are not we all observers? Tonight I ate octopus and talked to a strange photographer about glass sculptures and discovery and light. The hour was ringed with poetry, and yet there were no poets present to transcribe it. With the eye of a Cyclops I watched the evening pass, and with a Cheshire smile I sat, and when at last the rain saved me I gratefully and gracelessly escaped. I observed this, but hesitate to explain it. I wanted only to circle inside.

Some things spiral outward. I am not one.