Near the streetcar stop there’s a small flower shop where you can buy one flower at a time, if one flower is all you want. It’s all Yvonne ever wants. Today they have tulips, for the first time this year, and Yvonne chooses a red one, the inside of the cup an acrylic orange. She will take this tulip back to her room and set it in a white bud vase in the sunlight and drink its blood until it dies.
Yvonne carries the tulip in one hand, wrapped in its cone of paper, held stiffly in front of her as if it’s dripping. Walking along past the store windows, into which she peers with her usual eagerness, her usual sense that maybe, today, she will discover behind them something that will truly be worth seeing, she feels as if her feet are not on cement at all but on ice. The blade of the skate floats, she knows, on a thin film of water, which it melts by pressure and which freezes behind it. This is the freedom of the present tense, this sliding edge.
― Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg