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By Margaret Laurence

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I begin pondering – it’s Mac. Then i feel – hell, no, it’s now not Mac it’s me after which I don’t understand. Twelve thirty. Stacey takes the empty bottle into the kitchen and areas it in the back of 3 bottles of wine and a bottle of vinegar. She takes the frying pan down from its hook and places it at the range. She takes the bacon out of the fridge and places slices within the pan. Cheese. Bread. The fried sandwich is made. She appears to be like at it heavily, contemplating it. It doesn't glance fit for human consumption. — needs to devour whatever absorptive. Can’t. Repulsive. Mac, consult me. Mac? Katie? Ian? Duncan? the place are you or is it simply me I don’t be aware of what the hell I’m speaking approximately good what you have to be conversing approximately child is espresso. Stacey makes herself a cup of quick espresso. She appears back on the congealing sandwich within the frying pan and makes a decision to warmth it up. She switches on a component yet doesn't positioned the frying pan on until eventually the round coil is pink. She reaches for the frying pan, stumbles, places out a hand to stability herself. The hand lands at the fringe of scarlet circle. — It hurts it hurts it hurts what's it She has with no understanding it pulled her hand away. She regards it with interest. crimson crescent traces have seemed at the pores and skin of her left palm. — My model of stigmata. My western model. The Double Crescent. It hurts hurts She takes the frying pan and throws its sandwich into the rubbish pail. She switches off the range, reaches into the cabinet for baking soda, mixes a few with water and applies it to her hand. She then applies a mild gauze bandage, one that may be got rid of simply the next day to come morning with out a person noticing. She walks upstairs and will get into mattress. Blackness scurries round her within the room yet inside of her head the neon is white and chilly just like the stars within the prairie winters. — the right way to clarify this? anyone can clarify whatever, in the event that they positioned their brain to it. It’s now not tricky. I placed the kettle on, and by accident positioned my quit the boiling spout. Mac – I’m scared. aid me. however it is going far again. the place to start? What am i able to very likely say to you that you're going to take heavily? What wouldn't it desire, with you, what attainable cataclysm, that you can say something of your self to me? What should still I do? I’m uncertain i actually are looking to cross on residing in any respect. I can’t cope. I do cope. no longer good, notwithstanding. no longer with a person. Jesus i am getting drained occasionally. Self-pity. Yeh, i suppose. yet occasionally i would like to abdicate, in simple terms that. give up. Can’t. What wouldn't it be like for one of many little ones to return into the bed room, say, one night while Mac isn’t domestic but, anybody of them, perhaps waking up within the evening and calling and me no longer answering, and coming in right here and discovering I’d long past clear of them for sturdy, overdose? perhaps they’d imagine it was once their fault. I couldn’t get back mysteriously and say pay attention, it wasn’t something to do with you, or now not within the approach you're thinking that, and that i love you, see? no matter if I left a kind of I’m-getting-off-the-world letters, announcing I care approximately you, they wouldn’t think it. And they’d be correct. Goddam you, God. I’m caught with it.

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