Thursday, April 07, 2005
Eugene loved Katy so much he locked her in a closet. "I love you, Katy," he would tell her upon leaving for his confrontations with the world outside.
"If you love me, let me out," her muffled voice invariably called to him as he moved out of the room, out of earshot.
He would come back from time to time to feed her, and give her clothes. In a generous moment he even gave her a flashlight and a mirror so she could see what she looked like when she tried on the clothes. But he never let her out of the closet.
"I love you, Katy," he always called to her as he left.
Weeks, months and precious years watched over a ritual become reflex. It came to pass that Eugene could no longer speak with the vigor he once knew. As he tried to utter his declaration of love he could only cough helplessly. Before leaving the room to lay on his deathbed he etched his epitaph in the accumulated dust of their time together: "I love Katy."