I was at an apartment on the upper floor among the trees and opened the back door, perhaps forgetting about the household pets. The cat got out. I was upset at my stupidity, but he didn’t seem to be going anywhere further than the back porch, so he was easy to retrieve. But the rabbit got out. Then another cat and another rabbit. For every animal we caught and brought in, another seemed to escape. I worried about the possibility they would plunge to their deaths on the ground below, especially the rabbits.
I noticed the tile in the kitchen was loose and that the floor toward the porch and on it sloped crazily down, as though it were collapsing in very slow motion. My friend said they needed to follow up with the landlord about the problem. I wondered. In a way, it added architectural interest.
The man I was seeing halfheartedly was diagnosed with a cancer. I took him to a place for treatment, which was some form of physical therapy delivered by attractive young women. One day they told him that they could do no more for him — death was inevitable.
I saw through this, perhaps because eventually they said the same thing to everyone. No one would get better, they claimed, and I wouldn’t believe it. In the case of my friend, it was inconceivable to me.
A woman came out to address me. She was beautiful, but in my heart I knew she epitomized evil. To my shock and horror, a crowd applauded and cheered when she made her dramatic entrance. I could not believe they couldn’t see past the beauty and celebrity to the monstrous evil that was obvious to me. Her popularity alone made her the victor, her air seemed to say.
Something else must have happened because in the end my friend and I won, which meant that he was going to live. I felt a great passion for him that I had not known before. As he came closer, I realized that now he was at least a foot shorter than I, as though his size were in an inverse relationship to the strength of my feelings.
The therapy people had made me love him by threatening him with death, and I had, in a manner, won back his life. Now that he was safe, he had become diminished symbolically in a way that made my unfulfilled ardor all the more painful.
Maybe that was the evil I had sensed.