When she spoke to me, even in short, relatively disengaged bursts of conversation, I sensed something in me, something I hadn’t felt before in her presence, something dark and grating, like a rusted cheese serrater, or a buttplug covered in tiny thorns. It was the kind of feeling one might get while scouring the morgue of an abandoned infant hospital. The kind of feeling that feels the way a sword might sound dragging across a chalk board. The kind of feeling that told me plain and simple, something is very wrong. something is not right. A glaze seemed to have taken up residence in her eyes. The black of her mascara the charcoal paint of some macabre death rite. I walked back and forth in the room, pondering what she said, mulling my emotions the way I might mull a toffee on my tongue. All the while she kept her stare fixed on me, melting my good affect like the sun melting a snowman. What had happened? What had this become? Into what sad decay had we fallen, seemingly, headfirst? If anyone was to know it was her.