"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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"God, just..." Raina wiped her eyes, secure enough in the knowledge that they'd both act like he hadn't seen. "I don't know. I'm not saying you have to go off and try to get into an Ivy League or be the next Bill Gates or something, you know that. But you've got to live, okay? There's no point in just existing."

There were people who would, she knew. Sometimes she used that thought as a sort of spiteful comfort whenever someone really ticked her off, told herself how someday they'd wake up and be middle-aged and still just drifting along in Kingman with a mediocre job and a mediocre family and they'd realize how pointless it had all been and how she was a shooting star they'd never reach, no matter how much they resented her then or now. That would be their karma.

But that was for people who deserved that karma, not people she knew and sort-of cared about. Not for people whose brother she'd had a crush on, or who she drove out to the desert to look at the stars with, or who she casually lied to her parents to about whether or not they'd ever touched weed when another kid from the trailer park got their name in the police report section of the local paper.

Raina didn't say anything else until she was certain her voice would be steady and clear once again. "You really should give Mars a look, it's easy to see this time of year. One of its moons might be passing in front of it and you could see that, too." She picked at a loose thread from her sleeve. "You know, Jonathan Swift predicted that Mars would have two moons when he wrote Gulliver's Travels. He also thought it was ruled by mad scientists, so I guess it's not that impressive, but still."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Two Breaths Walking · Memories from the Past