him he suffered from narcolepsy. Several more tests ruled out the hormonal or autoimmune pathologies, so the hospital advising board decided it was psychological. John was ordered to undergo mandatory psychological assessments, twice a week.

“…John, do try to focus. Why don’t you tell me about Amy”
“Okay. We met a long time ago. So long ago I can’t even remember the exact circumstances. It’s like I’ve known Amy for so long, there was never a time without Amy. I vaguely remember proposing. It just seemed like the inevitable thing to do.”
“Doesn’t exactly sound like you’re crazy about Amy?”
“Amy’s….nice. Simple. Convenient. Predictable. She’s very predictable and that makes me feel calm doc. I know what’s going to happen next. I don’t have to worry about what if.”
“Do you love Amy?”
“Well, I don’t like how it feels when we’re apart. It hurts. I can’t not have Amy in my life. She’s my best friend. We talk every day.”
“You didn’t answer my question John.”
“Well, I don’t know doc, I just don’t know. Is that love?”

Amy didn’t like to be touched. Whenever she was touched, she

would scratch the spot she was touched for an extended period of time. This presented some problems in Amy and John's relationship. Some time ago, they had reached an agreement with regards to physicality. Amy would allowed herself to be touched for one week in the summer, and one week in the winter. At all other times, Amy was strictly not to be touched. This was a covenant between John and Amy, and it bonded them together, as much by the necessity of it as by their shame over the strangeness of it. Neither of them spoke a word of the arrangement to anyone else. They had separate rooms so that they wouldn't have to sleep in the same bed. They communicated primarily via text messages. Amy worked worked mornings, John worked nights. Most days, they wouldn't even see each other. None of this bothered John. He understood that nothing was permanent. Permanence was an illusion. When he could be with Amy, it was only for a brief period of time. As was everything else. In John's opinion, there was nothing wrong or unusual about this. Everything in the universe began at some point. Everything in the universe ends at a different point. Everything has a time-limit. Everything has an expiration date. On days when he couldn't be with Amy, he would often feel the tightness in his chest and be unable to breathe. He'd remind himself that any moment means nothing, that all lengths of time are equal, and everything will get hot and white and the lines on the map will disappear and everything will come back together. Amy would be back. Everything that's ever