The light of conflict glowing through the blinds. Cubby stirring in bed, eyeing the white slats that pierced his sleep. He retreats from the plot, too afraid to read his own doom as amateur prose. / Fuck, there are some disturbances I can handle. Everybody can, right. You know, a guy’s walking home one day, right. He sees a dead baby in the dumpster. He sees its little body all red and frosty in a KFC bucket. He pukes and he cries and he tells his wife and maybe he can’t sleep for a year. Maybe he never sleeps again. Who knows. But the guy handles it, and do you know why. I’ll tell you why. He handles it because he has to. He handles it because it happened. This is different. I mean, there are some aberrations I can stomach. I really mean that. But I can’t rationalize what I saw that night.—Tell me about it.—I can’t. You don’t understand. A man can’t see these things. A man can’t feel what I felt.—What did you feel.—Stop. You won’t get anywhere.—I’m here to help you.—Yeah, yeah, I know all that bullshit. I know you’re a professional and you took this in school and maybe you missed out on some really great dates because you wanted to pass those final exams. I know all that bullshit. But no matter how many of those fucking Scantron tests have met your pencil stroke, no matter how many fucking desks have holstered your fat ass, you will never understand this.—Why not.—Because you weren’t there. There are some things a man can’t. Some things a man won’t. Oh, forget it.—Why. Tell me why. / Movement in the hallway. The Plague as a prowling object. The grey flesh of an alien violating your body. The demonic white face hovering over your place of worship. You can hear Cubby howling inhuman noises. Shredding the bedsheets with yellow teeth, horror-sickened eyes lolling in the blackness. The Stenographer maps the route of death: subject diverges into the void. Vagueness shaves the boundary. The subject slips your reach. The plotline pulls apart. The denouement evaporates into episodic mayhem. / There are some things a man just can’t.