It was a late spring day in 1981. Ana Severino clocked off early from the paediatrics ward in Hospital de Madrid. The new national healthcare system meant there were more and more staff on the ward, so no-one would notice her leave a few minutes before the end of her shift.
Anna was not one to look twice at anything or anyone. Everyone looked twice at her though. They couldn’t help it.
Most people don’t bother looking twice at insignificant details, so unsurprisingly she wasn’t particularly popular. People thought Anna was either arrogant, or stupid, or both. But I knew that when she did look twice at something, even more rarely someone, that look could take hours, it could take days. I’ve spent my whole life waiting for her to look at me like that.
The police showed her his watch. His watch and wallet, and his wedding ring. No matter how much Amy asked to see her husband’s body, they dissuaded her. None of them actually said that he was unrecognisable because of his injuries but, through the shock and horror of it all, the message was eventually received. She picked up the timepiece she had bought a couple of years earlier. The engraving on the back ‘All My Love Stuart – your Amy’ left no room for doubt. His wallet held some money, his bank cards. His driving licence was missing, that was how they had found her.
There are two worlds.
One is conscious that we see.
And one is invisible that we feel
– I’m really sorry, said the paramedic.
– But there’s no blood, I said.
– No. No blood, said the paramedic. You might need to talk to the police.
Beachum stops at the Bi Lo to get his latest prescription filled. While he’s waiting he looks for something to kill the cat, some kind of poison. He looks up and down the aisles. It appears that grocery stores do not carry poison anymore.
“Where would I find the poison?” he asks the pharmacist
“What kind of poison are you looking for?” asks the pharmacist. He acts as if the mere contemplation of such a question has given him indigestion.
“Something that will kill a cat.”
The pharmacist sighs. “There are many things that will kill a cat,” he says stapling a sheaf of instructions and disclaimers six inches thick to the bag containing Beachum’s prescription that no one, least of all old Beachum, will ever read.
“Can you recommend something?”
The pharmacist shakes his head sadly. “No,” he says.
He walked, alone. The city opened to him.