If you ‘act’ the most fatal ‘act’ of your life, the most fatal act of the epoch, you are depriving your life and the epoch of their deadly seriousness. From this consideration springs my first warning advice:
1. By no means should you consent to acting yourself, to become the actor of your life.
— Günther Anders to Claude Eatherly, the pilot of Straight Flush
Lazur stares into those hell blue eyes that reflect him without iridodialysis black or hyphemic red. Pupil, iris, sclera; clean circles of control.
“I never expected you to make yourself so completely helpless.” Rubicon curls his fingers into a tight ball hissing hissing. “Stupid bomb dog.”
Something squeezes Lazur’s throat, ticking like a watch. He grips it, expecting cold hard tightness, and finds it.
“I have a dummy shaped like you in my lab.”
Rubicon’s voice is devoid of sounds such as nasal, wet, sucking, clogged, wheezing, smacking, grinding, phlegmy, or smacking, pure as a clarinet.
“Ballistic gel full of resin bones and synthetic blood.”
Lazur drops to his knees, choking.
“A jaundiced translucence. Like a man made of honey.”
The bomb collar tick tick tickles his throat cartilage, tongue thrusting hunting for air.
“Why are you so scared? You’re just another dummy. A piece of male tissue squeezed into a black rubber toothpaste. Or out. I forget how toothpaste works. I have this oral rinse station…”
The collar turns harder and heavier the more he claws at it, bristling with wires and bolts and the neat tight bulge of just enough payload to pop his skull like a fruit.
“I can ruin your mind from here. Make every second unbearable until you go insane—”
“Hhhhghk. Help me.”
Rubicon recoils, fingers curling across his face. “What?”
“He’s chasing me.”
“Who’s chasing you?”
“I’m trying to think. It was a red name. Rrr, rrrh, ruhh, ruby? But the bad version of that.”
“When there’s no pros.”
“Cons. Ruby. Con.”
“What a cool name.”
“Yeah. It’s pretty cool. But he’s insane.”
“How would you describe this mysterious menace?”
“He’s. All fucked up. Crippled. Mutilated.”
Rubicon cocks his head with an exaggerated expression of confusion. “You’re scared of a cripple?”
“You don’t understand. He’s trying to kill me.”
“Kill you!?” Thinking pose. “Like run you over with his wheelchair?”
“He wants to blow my ass up.”
“And you don’t see him anywhere in this room?”
Lazur strains to look around, the collar so heavy his head can barely lift, dark hair brushing the floor. “I don’t think so.”
Lazur’s eyelids droop, throat failing to register the sensation of air. “It’s not you. You’re beautiful.”
The color leaves Rubicon’s face, his mouth turned downward and crushed by a hand of light. An invisible hook pulls at the corner of his lip, dragging open a few teeth to smile by. “Haha. Yeah. I get that a lot.”
They’re sitting at a table. The table is covered in words he can’t read. Short phrases that make his mouth pucker. The table is covered in food. He leans forward to cover his crotch. “I’m very sorry about this. But I seem to have lost my clothes.”
“You can’t have clothes if you don’t know who you are, retard.”
“Who I am.” He stares at his hand, trying to understand the history of his limb. “Just something normal. I guess.”
He’s wearing a suit now. It seems appropriate for fancy food in a fancy house. But his palms are sweaty. He looks for an exit. The walls are blurred, as if sweating with him. For some reason, the young man across the table makes him uncomfortable. Probably his attractive appearance. Why would that matter? Is he a rival?
Lazur says, “You seem like a nice guy.”
“Why, thank you.”
“I had this thing I was supposed to do but I can’t figure it out. There was a woman.”
Rubicon stabs his fork into the table and blood spurts out, dripping cough syrup red over the side. “What the fuck do you mean. A woman?”
Lazur flinches. “She’s in trouble.” He tries to think, embarrassed of the mistakes he seems to be making. “Was it my mother? Do you know her?”
Rubicon twirls the fork, head leaning on his hand. “I’m dying to meet her. But I don’t think you’ve introduced us yet.”
Lazur puts his hands on his lap, uncomfortable. “Sorry. I can’t remember what the nature of our relationship is.”
“Well, a little about me. My biggest passion is probably respecting human rights.”
“Yeah. I’m a pretty boring person. I like wargaming conventions but haaaaate violence. I’m terrified of my phone exploding and killing me. What about you, hot stuff?”
“I. I’m sorry. I can’t remember.”
“You lost your long-term memory, dummy.”
“What happened to me?”
“Probably huffing paint.”
“Is inhalant abuse a problem I have?”
“Oh, yes. Many’s the time I’ve seen you snorking Krylon under the bleachers. But I don’t judge you for it.”
So much food. A stained glass window was smashed on the table, blue corn chips, slices of purple potato, jeweled berries of ruby and sapphire, a nosebleed of pomegranate.
“I’m sorry to interrupt you at dinner.”
Rubicon regards the food for the first time and it sharpens under his gaze, made vibrant by his attention. He knows it isn’t real. His mouth waters. He takes a pastiched pastry and bites very carefully with his illusory teeth, believing in their hardness and uniformity. Now his eyes are watering, a barely suppressed moan.
Lazur looks up. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Rubicon covers his face with ten fingers, so delicately limned with evening red as to be nearly translucent. “It just tastes so good.”
The flavor fades, leaving nothing but medicinal scum and broken teeth. He turns back to Lazur and his smile is perfect again. It’s easier to hold this form around the technician, this amnesiac Lazur without preconceptions, so apologetic and sensitive. Easier to believe he can be beautiful, even if it’s a lie, outside and in.
The room has changed and we do not understand it. Was that real?
It throbs up again in the silence.
“I’ve felt this way before. In the ancient valleys of the past.”
The shape of a young man, a silent blur.
“Yes. I’m definitely paranoid and I definitely feel bad. But that’s okay. It happens. Sometimes.”
“You need a reference point.”
Lazur picks up the pen. “Detonator.” He points to a strand of Rubicon’s hair, swirling as if underwater. “Death transmitter.”
“Wow, you’re almost ready to graduate kindergarten.”
“Ha?” He looks down, blue highlights in his ultrablack hair like an old comic. “I am scared of something.”
Rubicon settles in like his favorite show just came on, dreamy smiling face framed by his hands, legs kicking behind his head.
Lazur says, “What I really hate about fear. Is it’s such a mind-killer.”
“Yeah. I hate when my mind gets killed.”
A half-remembered conversation by the pool. “If fear is the mind-killer. What’s terror?”
“Terror is the dick-killer.”
“Haha. Hmmm. I shouldn’t be this weak. I don’t know why I can’t control it.”
“You’re shock hardened, Laz. Hard, but brittle. Lazur shock. Haha.”
“One day I’ll feel normal.”
“Well, Laz. I seriously doubt it’ll be today.”
“Who are you again?”
“I’m your worst fucking enemy.”
“That seems hyperbolic.”
“Hyperbolic, metabolic, anabolic, diabolic, take your pick.”
“Crispy fried critter.”
Delighted. “That’s right!”
“I have to get out of Toontown.”
This bathroom has a broken mirror, ugly shapes hunting through the shards, he feels like that fractured reflection, carrying around a bucket of his shattered self.
Cold sweat on the back of his neck, the tickle of God’s crosshair, he crosses himself, his fingers are small as bullets.
Rubicon says, “Wow, you’re so cute like that.”
He grabs Lazur’s hand. “You wanna go play in the street? Eat Pop Rocks?”
Lazur rips his hand away and it pops back to long fingers and dark hair, adult knuckles curling. There is a powerful and definite heat that seems to be following him. He slides along the wall. His tongue hangs out, limbs dark as the maned wolf, ears perked forward, muzzle charred black.
“You got your hackles up, Laz.”
“I don’t know. But you got em.”
“It’s just. I get a bad feeling from you. The sound of your voice.”
“It’s just the old constraint of an essential bond. Don’t worry about it.”
Damp sensation but his skin is dry. He stares at the back of his hand and sweat pops out like blisters. “Something is definitively casting a shadow.”
“We gotta be quiet…”
“You’re making me paranoid too.”
“I can’t keep changing shape. There has to be a cost.”
“The cost is so gradual you won’t even notice until it’s too late.”
“That’s just time.”
The floorboards rattle and pop like fireworks in the basement. Lazur’s hair jets out like a scared cat, long and dark with a white streak through it, brown eyes smoldering like the bed of that iron-rich river. She checks the air for tripwires, finding exactly what she expects. Snip of her wire cutter blue nails.
Rubicon makes binocular circles around his eyes. “Lazurowy…”
Lazur crushes her breasts into the wall, feeling for the door handle. She opens it and they’re in another hall. “Are we going in gurkles?” Sniff sniff. Is that smoke?
She tries the window and it rattles. “Do you have. Is there some kind of specialized window opening device?”
An explosion sound. She looks back. Rubi, pert tits in a bomber jacket, blond hair shimmering like tinsel, snapping melted skin in her mouth like bubblegum.
Lazur grabs her by the collar. “Did you just change shape?”
“That’s crazy talk, mister.”
“I mean. Cool it, milfy!” Rubi sinks into the lifted jacket, face buried, blond bob with red bomb bows sticking out, bare midriff stretching. “Would you say you have a punitive personality?”
Lazur looks down to see the girl’s tiptoes teetering on the floor. She releases her. “I’m sorry. I don’t, I don’t like hurting people. That can’t be me, can it?”
“Look in the mirror.”
“I need a window.” Lazur stares into the forlorn distance, canthal lines dancing around her eyes like water striders. The ice wall of emotion melts to reveal tangible environmental details. The window is gone. Heat blasts down the hall. Something is burning down here. “We have to leave.”
Rubi’s big shojo eyes peer from over the collar of her bomber jacket, lids at half-mast. “Can’t we stay like this forever?”
“The building is on fire. We have to get out.”
Rubi’s breasts pop like water balloons of blood, soaking her top red. She teeters on her feet, a gauntness in her jaw like a teenage zombie. “There’s nothing for me outside. I won’t go.”
Lazur grabs her by the wrist and her hair gasps, ash flying from her ears. “I’m not letting you die here.”
Rubicon’s clips fall out, hair limp and charred at the edges. He looks up with bloodcherry eyeballs, fidgeting with the zipper running from the side of his mouth, all his stitches are zippers. “You still don’t remember me?”
They’re back in the piano room. The food glistens lusciously, then he remembers that time has passed, and it turns rotten purple, twilight bruises on the walls.
He wears a suit and tie now, funeral bleak. “I’m sorry. My state of mind. It’s no excuse for my behavior. I wish I knew the right words and actions. It’s all I want.” He loosens his tie and marbles fall out, clattering across the dense hardwood with teeth-aching impact. He picks one up. A steel ball bearing from a claymore. “I don’t even know where I am.”
Rubicon stares with flat steaming eyes, then sighs and unzips his bomber jacket. A scar rips across his leg, red clouds of contusion like evening in his thigh. The room feels less clenched, more detailed. “Figure it out, stupid!”
Lazur stares at the objects on the floor. Leather watch. Cigarette stubs, still smoking. Blasting caps. Pink dress. A handful of ammonia fertilizer. School uniform, dark shorts and a skinny red tie. A glove.
He picks up the dark glove. “I’m like this glove.”
Memory dances on his fingers like a coin rolling across his knuckles. “My body is in another location. This is a projection.”
He flexes his fingers, feeling the stretch of unseen rubber. “I was in a bad place. A dungeon with no entrance or exit. Only suits could enter. Controlled by a signal.
So where am I now?
In the place where the signal dies.
“Why would I enter a place of danger? I had to find the clue. The clue turned into a woman. I had to save her?”
“Plot twist! What happened next?”
“I began to feel confused. I think he sabotaged the signal.”
“Yup. The pieces of your brain got separated from each other.”
“Then there was a bomb.”
“Am I in hell?”
“Yes,” Rubicon says seriously. “What kind of bomb?”
“The dungeon collapses. The evidence is destroyed. The evidence has a burnt mouth.”
“So you have a countdown. That’s your specialty.”
“You’re the best bomb defuser in the whole world.”
“That’s very kind of you to say.”
“Whatever. How long is this countdown?”
Something snaps in LAZUR’S wrist. He grasps the bleeding area. Blood spurts from his watch, fanged with broken glass.
RUBICON (sardonic smile)
Do you have the time, sir?
(struggling with his watch)
Just a minute.
Is that all?
I think it’s a number. Can you read it?
Aw, jeez. That’s one of the bad ones.
Wait. This isn’t real.
Don’t play with me.
He grabs RUBICON and holds him against the ADJACENT SURFACE.
“If I’m wearing a suit. You’re wearing a suit too. You concealed your form.”
A drop of red runs from Rubicon’s eye. “Great job, genius!”
“Are you sick?”
Ragged breathing from a different audio channel. “Just the stress of your regard.”
Lazur’s chest aches and tightens. “Rubicon.”
“You’re getting sweat on me.”
Sizzling droplets fall from Lazur’s terror mask. “What did you do to me?”
“D-don’t blame me. It’s you.”
The more Lazur notices the heat the hotter it gets, faster and crazier, panic like an electrode on his tongue. “I’m running hot. I’m hot. I’m burning. Like fire. You know? That hot stuff? Orange, red—”
“Look at the suit.”
LAZUR blinks rapidly, each blink stripping layers from his skin until he sees the suit with the entrancing lines like the scars on your body.
“The price of the dream is heat.”
Lazur reaches back and feels the tube running from his spine, pulsing with coolant, cold in, hot out.
Rubicon’s lips crack like hot plastic. “You can see why this didn’t hit mass market. That’s the cost of fidelity.”
“It feels so real.”
“Yeah. It piggybacks off your dream center. Stimulates the hippocampus. Hyper-associative schizine overdrive.”
Lazur feels like he’s dying of cold, frostbitten dreamlike. Flakes of ash drift through the air like fallout snow.
“Exactly. Cal had it set up so, anyone who isn’t authorized gets hit with an exploit.” At the mention of Cal’s name, the room flashes orange like the detonation of a distant bomb. “Overstimulate your pattern recognition, desync the cute little pieces of your brain.”
A door jitters in Lazur’s periphery. The boy hasn’t seen it yet. But if he turns too fast, it’ll disappear like a fly. He edges sideways, reaching his hand out.
Rubicon snaps his finger and the doorseeming zips away. “Not so fast, baby.”
Lazur slams him into the piano and it makes a BONG sound. The healthy body struggles uncannily, breathing too ugly for that pristine mouth.
Lazur says, “You’ll never know how bad you hurt me.”
An eye of blood-filled rage through the broken mask of Rubicon’s face. “You think I don’t know pain?”
Pink lines cut his body like a map, slicing through organs, fingers, crotch, leaping from blast chakras into the anatomic air. Lazur pulls away but he’s tangled in the pain like red wires, feeding the ghost nerves with his perception. He shuts his eyes and the wires go limp like noodles, feedback loop killed.
A cassette clicks, Rubicon’s voice like a decaying tape or a jaw filling with blood. I began feeling phantom pain for limbs I never had.
Dotted lines encircle Rubicon like paper ribbons, outlining appendages in blood pink: ballistic spurs, drone halo, terrorphotic esca swaying in the room’s ground zero gloom. He twists onto his stomach, ribs so sharp they nearly slice from his back. His shoulder blades radiate neon arcs of nerve crystal, feathered with orphan neurons. “You’re such a fucking angel. Maybe we can do mirror therapy.”
“At the restaurant. I could see how shook you were. Maybe you have phantom pain for other things as well.”
“The emotions you never thought anyone would see in you again.”
“You’re gonna make me puke.”
Lazur slaps the floor and it turns to concrete. “You didn’t feel anything after what you did to that woman?”
Rubicon’s body tightens to sculpted imp red, angular and cringing until he’s almost disappeared behind himself like a salamander. “N-no. He was. I’m just. Putting it all together.”
Rubicon crawls across the piano keys to get away, PLING PLONK CHNNNNG.
Lazur says, “That’s why you were so scared.”
Sharp eyebrows slice from the sides of Rubicon’s head, angry blond scissors. “I’m not scared.”
“It hurts you.”
“You can’t use someone like that without being damaged.”
Rubicon’s hair flares across his face, a blond scything shield, teeth glitching, breaking and reforming. “Y-y-you—”
“What are the prisoners for? Help me understand.”
Rubicon snaps back to his stable form and holds up his fingers, a single digit flickering. “The qatran is activated by words.”
“Like a specific sequence, or—”
Rubicon circles with his skinny body, sharp hair tendrils probing and tingling, the background whipping catching up with each crane of Lazur’s neck. “Ru-bi-con. The tip of the detonator taking a trip of three seconds down the timer to tap, at three, on the blasting cap and blow your teeth across the map.”
“That’s the sequence?”
“There’s a million of ‘em. But it has to be the right order or something bad happens.”
“So the prison is a linguistic firing range.”
“What’s the delivery mechanism?” He holds the photocopy from his memory, black and white ballistomorphs melting to Rorschach blobs. “I saw the bullet. So there’s a gun. And you need the words to fire it.”
Rubicon’s face flips like pages, whispering nervously at the edge. “Basically. Yeah.”
Lazur has that feeling again, of waking up and thinking his mother died a long time ago. Why hasn’t he visited her more? All the depressing, annoying things seem so trivial now, compared to the simple fact of knowing if she’s still alive.
He folds up on the floor, collapsing into the hollow of his body. He can feel her cross-legged on concrete, naked skin shining under the UV. No no no he whispers.
“It’s too late. I couldn’t save her.”
“Yeah, you fucked up and your life is ruined and everyone is dead because of you. Kill yourself.” Rubicon stares, breathing heavily until his mouth goes flat and his eyes roll to the side, exasperated blue. “But we’re on relative time, so, you know…”
“Relative?” He thinks of his mom. He’s definitely on her time. Neurologically crumbling, free associating. Dancing with the enemy.
“Time is stretchy in here.”
Lazur checks his watch. The cartoon figure is jumping around and shaking its ass. That has to mean something.
“Are you telling me. There’s still hope in the universe?”
“Uh. By that broad metric, fuck yeah, buddy.”
Lazur leaves the room and runs down the hall. He turns the corner and he’s back in the room. Rubicon sits on the piano, legs hanging off the side. His hand covers half his face, bloodshot eye staring through a stump gap.
Lazur tries another door. He walks through and steps out into the same room.
“Everywhere I go leads back to you. This egotist architecture.”
Rubicon’s face burrows under hands wrapping like bandages serving Beksinski cunt with the smell of medicine from the nursing home. “I didn’t ask you to have a panic attack inside my skull.”
Lazur checks the window. Locked and mirror sick, specks of blood paste covering the glass.
“Guess you’re fucked.”
Lazur casts his dark eyes in the young man’s direction. “I’ll get out of here. With a little help from my enemy.”
“What do you want from me?”
“You want to hurt this? Control it? Own it?” He peels back his sleeve to expose the slick dark material underneath, blistering with heat. “I’m hollow as this suit. But if you want to trick yourself with open eyes, with my body. Fine.” The piano shrieks, a solitary high note. “Is my life worth a single finger on your—”
“Maybe if you detached it first.”
Lazur’s outstretched hand vibrates like antennae with the sensitivity of a panic attack, psychosomatic cannibalism, all the feelings of the past year like lumps of rock salt behind his eyes. His finger shudders against the phantom pain like poles of two magnets, his subcutaneous fat and muscle and bone stripped away until all that remains is a slender length of reed, bending theraminal along the length of Rubicon’s decapitated wingspan.
How simple and delicate and gentle to be a reed.
But if that reed made contact
it would burn up
in an instant.
Rubicon looks as if he’s going to throw up, face melting like grease paint, childish or haughty bones surfing through screaming tissue, cunty eyes chasing holes in a skull, his phantom limbs erect, scorpionlike. “Don’t touch me, you filthy peasant, you sick molester, you like fucking cripples?”
“I like to live.”
“You don’t seem to enjoy it very much.”
“I know. It’s only when I’m threatened very. Very badly. That I seem to enjoy it desperately.”
Rubicon’s eyes are wide and absorbing, then slashed into hunting crescents, circling again. Lazur feels another wave of heat crash from his captive body into his whipped dream. “At the restaurant. You said I have a wish.”
“I said put it in your back pocket.”
Sweat blinds him, suit clinging like a boiled condom. “My back pocket.”
“Did you remember to do that?”
Lazur reaches behind and slowly inserts his fingers into the void. His hand flows along the tight rubber curve, then pulls something out. A flower blossoms in his hand, a blue violet, bruised purple. “I know it’s not very good. It got ruined by the heat and crushed. But it’s all I have.”
Rubicon rubs his shoulder, embarrassed and cringing into himself. “Whatever. I may be a war criminal, but I’d never break a birthday wish.”
The window swings open and the unbearable heat recedes under verisimilitudinous coolness. Lazur leans outside, gasping and sucking air into his sister lungs, antipodean sacss. “You could have melted my brain from my skull.”
Rubicon stands next to him, inhaling the sensation of fresh air. His scars are gone, his face perfectly formed and melancholy.
Lazur says, “Why did you help me?”
The young man turns away. “When you couldn’t remember me. I felt like I didn’t exist.” His eyes stare back through his head, blue drops glittering through a winter wonderland of scar fibers. “But I break all my mirrors in the end.”
Lazur steps onto the ivy-covered ledge, just enough space for his foot. The drop is far enough to give him a heat stroke before he hits the ground. He grips the crimson vines, edging very slowly toward the slope of a roof. He looks back, smelling smoke.
Rubicon’s hand is stuck to the sill by burning flesh.
Lazur says, “You should disconnect.”
“Won’t you stay and burn with me?”
“Come on. You’ll lose consciousness faster than you think. You have to jack out now.”
“What do you care? It solves your problem.”
“It would make me feel physically ill to watch someone die.”
“Take a fucking Dramamine.”
“If you get heat stroke, it could damage your brain. What else do you have?”
Rubicon looks at himself in the mirror of Lazur’s body, flayed face dripping red, deep dark crescents burnt under his eyes. “Oh. I don’t even look human anymore, do I?”
Fire spreads across the vines, the yard blazing with an inferno of autumn.
“I forget sometimes. Especially in here.”
“You are human.”
“This body doesn’t have a human thing about it. This body doesn’t have a future.” Rubicon rips his hand from the sill, skin stretching like melted cheese. He stares at it with hollow eyes. “Oh well. Soon everyone will know how I feel.”
A vine snaps and Lazur claws down the wall, one leg dropping into the air, the other tucked into his chest, heart pounding into his knee. Only his nails keep him from falling into the flames, dragging trails of red sap. He looks up to see Rubicon’s face, arrogant and stabilized. “Grab your tail.”
If he lets go, he falls. But the fire comes either way. He reaches behind and a violet petal snaps on his fingertip like a spark of ionized air. He falls and hot air shreds his back like hot metal slag. His heart leaps fast enough to black out the edges of his eyes, then his hand squeezes something thick and rubbery and he swings through the air across the dizzying hell of fall, feet brushing the dry leaves of the canopy—
He slams into the carpet rolling across the room until his limbs fly out black and shiny, the tube at his tailbone yanking him back.
An angel of sweat darkens the floor.
He slaps his hand against the tensed plane of his abdomen, a trembling laugh as he feels his clammy mass inside the suit, sweating through the vents like a gutted animal of water.
This is the body that belongs to me. I belong to myself. I’ll take care of you.
He compares the location of the other suit relative to the blueprint, superimposes that on the desert, and converts it to GPS coordinates. He crawls to his phone and dials a number, trying to hold the little flip phone steady in his gloved hand. Ring. Ring. Quince’s voice crackles, “Do you know what fucking time it is?”
Lazur tells him the coordinates. “Send a team. Right now. And dig.”
“There’s a body. A living body. A person. In the dirt.” Well. There’s a very small chance of that happening. If the caulk can be broken and she fits inside the sample elevator and it goes all the way up. But this is the only sequence of events that results in survival.
“In the dirt?”
“Buried alive. Dig them out. I’m serious. Do it now. Understand?”
The silence of, is that any way to talk to your superior officer? But hesitation. The fear of an unknown context.
Lazur drinks from his bottled water, rasp smoothing out. “Quince. We can’t let them win.”
“You know who they are.”
The prevaricating sound of Quince licking his lips on the other end.
“Remember what you told me? All it takes is for a guy to do nothing.”
“I said that?”
“When you said that, it blew my mind.”
Deep breath. “If we pull this off. It’s a big fat W for the good guys.”
“Score one for the good guys. You know what I mean?”
“Score one for the good guys.”
“Score one for the good guys.”
“Big win. Big win for democracy.”
“Make the call. Be the man.”
“I’m looking at the numbers…”
“That’s your big fat lottery ticket. It’s all you, man.”
“Sure. Okay, Laser. I’m making the call.”
“Score one for the good guys.”
“Score one for the good guys!” Click.
The unreality of the autopilot, running and outrunning his nervous system. The necessary sequence has concluded, leaving him numb. The question of which emotional reality to believe in, all these living dreaming bodies inside him, cold and hot. The suit is soaked with his suffering, but you can’t see it, this clear fear without the eloquence of blood.
I can forget. I can pass beyond this moment.
Lazur turns around. A shadow stands before the window, framed by the night.