A young woman opened a door set in a wall on a narrow European-style street to a tall man in cavalier dress. He held and kissed her forcefully — too forcefully — and they disappeared inside. I wondered if all was well, or if I should have intervened.
Although I didn’t know her or the man — I thought they might be college students — I went in later to check on her. She was in a large, claw-footed bathtub, but the man in the tub with her was younger and smaller than the cavalier and was intellectual in appearance. In every way he was the opposite of the other man. I stared, unable to understand and afraid of something indefinable.
I saw a young man in an outdoor warehouse area, then heard a loud sound as a can of olive oil was punctured. Against my will, I began to imagine that the young woman and intellectual in the bathtub had knocked out or even killed the cavalier, using the brief sound of the olive oil can puncture to mask the deed.
I could sense that the young man I now saw was wondering the same thing and whether he had been duped. He was horrified by the possibility because the woman seemed to be a victim, but he was being overcome by a sense of sexual longing that made him hope he was wrong. His mind was trying to form alternative scenarios that did not lead to murder. His feelings were so strong that it occurred to me he may not have been a third man, an accomplice, but that he may be the young man who had been, or would be, in the bathtub. I wondered if I were seeing backward in time.
I felt such a strong sense of his guilt, confusion, and longing that I realized I may be him as he would be in the future, trying to parse the past. Perhaps he and I were the same person.