Hank runs into the Law and gets sidelined


Hank strangles Lilly. Lilly is the name of a flower. There are flowers in the garden and the flowers are red and orange. It is the doctor’s voice and it is in my head and Hank is screaming because he has red hands. It seems that Lilly was bleeding in her mouth and then she was bleeding on the rug and Hank tried to make her stop. But she was dead because she had been strangled. It is the doctor’s voice again.

There is science in the auditorium every Thursday. The first graders are making little volcanoes and the second graders are making biospheres. Nothing can get in and out of the biosphere. A little while ago, some scientists made a gigantic biosphere. The biosphere was the size of a mall. Some of the scientists lived in it for a while. The scientists had white robes and they walked around the biosphere with clipboards. Each day, the scientists wrote down numbers and the numbers were quite clever at dividing everything into cause and effect. It is consequential thinking, the doctor says. It is his voice again and it is in my head.

Or maybe the numbers on the clipboards said what the things were. I don’t remember. Biospheres are complicated. The radio says that soon there will be biospheres in space because space is a vacuum. That is probably a practical conclusion to the story of the dividers. They sure have been at work for an awfully long time. It would be humorous to see them advance and evolve to the point that they were living in space.

They really are dividers. It isn’t so much a legend anymore. That is the doctor again. He comes in like that, sometimes. I think he is at the door and then he is inside. He wears glasses and his hands are cold and my heart beats faster when he is in my house but I am not excited and I am certainly not sexually aroused.

Not scientifically.

Lilly asks Hank to strangle her. She asked you, the doctor asks. Yes, she asked me. There were strange wires in her head and the wires were telling her to sit and then to stand and then to sleep and she said the wires were connected to her chest. I had to stop the wires, I say in the end. So you strangled her. There is one last step and it is not really like the rest of the steps, the doctor says and he is smug and he is writing many notes that detail me. You took the last step and you killed her. Now the doctor is cleaning his glasses.

Lilly is bleeding in her mouth and the television is on and the man on the television is saying that a bomb went off in a shopping mall in the capital. A lot of people on the television are in pain and the people have faces that look like they are really scared. I think that the people on the television think that their lives are really important. Maybe their lives are really important. It doesn't really matter, though, their lives are almost over. The television also shows pictures of blown up people and some of the people have metal lodged into their chests and some of the people don’t look that unhappy--even though they are dead. Some of the people look like the last step hadn’t been that bad. Maybe the last step didn't really have anything to do with them at all. Or science.

Hank is in jail because the men and women in the courtroom say that he is guilty and that he should live in jail. Hank lives with Matt. Matt likes to steal cars and Matt likes to burn cars. Sometimes, Matt shoots guns at people. You are going to be in here for a long time, Hank says. I know, Matt says. Shut up, the prison guard says. It is after eleven. They have only made the rules, Hank says.

The prison is not so unhappy, at least for a moment.


The fabled and provocative concern that the rules are made by the bystanders circuitously and perhaps unfavorably finds the ears of the Minister. He was ruthless in his first term and he was congratulated by moderate and humble society for his excellence in preservation. The pinnacle of government had never witnessed a command as thorough, strict and meticulous. It was, therefore, decidedly unfortunate that he was to witness such a complaint early in his second term. In truth, there were several occasions that he remembered quite well. He remembered hunting duck, walking along the shoreline and throwing stones, and eating ice cream at a parlor on Baker St. These were memories and were splendid additions to his life. How could these truly be spectator events.

It is surprising therefore, his wife later recalled, that he hastily shot himself after parading naked through French Hills, a quaint and wealthy neighborhood.


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