My wife calls them real people – not real like tangibility or taxes, but like bluegrass or hip-hop before a producer’s “creative direction” (that father of lies). The sort of people who are atheists because Jesus was a home-town boy, smoking weed and tagging their tenements with damnable revolutionary graffiti – Not because some tsunami on their big screen soured their wine. It’s not honesty, not hearts worn on sleeves, but that worn sleeves don’t hide bruises like SUVs, and what the neighbors think is whether you’re good for a smoke sitting on the cracked steps outside. My wife calls them real people – but I can’t bring myself to it. We are all secrets locked in towers bristling with spires and crennelations, peering between merlons and down murder holes, suspiciously guarding our empty halls. A castle beseiged or worn by saltbreeze, seasons, intrusive ivy, is a fortress yet; walking through rotted gates, hostile gazes envy my stiff keep of a neck. “Real” is not a thing of degrees, measured in cracks and breaches. It is the trebuchet whirring stony hammer-loads across your bulwarks, and mine.