She barely recognized him.
‘Hey you,’ he said.
His white skin touched her couch. He smiled, the same smile she had seen a thousand times before in class from her cordial professor. His clothes lay arranged in a bundle next to him, neatly folded. The wool sweater, the jacket, the corduroy pants, belt on top, leather boots on the floor. Her eyes registered each item in slow-motion, trying to configure the familiar objects that had shaped an unknown world during her absence. She smelled him, that distinctive scent of deterioration that becomes harder and harder to mask each year. She couldn’t help looking there too, between his legs. A worm. Not entirely alive, but not dead either. Its blind head tried to stick itself up. The wind blew hard against the windows. Autumn, the season of worms. You saw them when you stirred some leaves, crawling around, shaken up by…
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