*

Once you were in a room and on the television a man was saying that a man had been killed in a shooting and the man was your friend. Once you were in a room where this was happening and you were sobbing. Once you were in a room and your wife was looking at you and you could not stop sobbing.

*

One time you were in a room and your mother was hitting you with a spoon or a ladle. Or your stepfather was tackling you and smashing your head into a piece of furniture.

*

Once you were in a room and you were looking at the dead body of your grandfather. Or you were standing in a room in someone’s house and a boy was lying on the floor gurgling up his own blood and staring up into the ceiling and dying and you just stood there. Maybe wrote something down, maybe told someone not to touch anything.

Remember that time you were in a room and the man was dead and swollen in his underwear and there were one hundred and thirty two little foil wrappers on the floor, one for each pill he had swallowed? And his mother wanting to come in. Demanding to know exactly what was going on?

*

And there was a room in which a man tried to put a knife into you. A room in which you pulled a blanket off a man hiding in a closet. A room in which you put the flat face of your gun into a man’s ear and pressed hard and pulled back on the trigger enough to take out the slack and the sound of your own voice filled up the small space and almost drowned out the sound of the man’s sobbing.

*

The room in which you pressed your flesh into the flesh of the woman who would make a baby with you. The room in which you held that woman while blood poured from her womb and another creature came into being.

*

The room in which you begged to die.

The one in which you begged not to.

*

Open a door, one thing happens. Open it again, something else.

Let’s hear it for the carnival. Let’s root for the good guys. Let’s boo the bad guys. Who’s to say which is which?
As long as there are hands and arms and eyes and teeth there are doors to open and rooms to step into.

*

You haven’t got the first idea of what
is in store for you.

*