happened will happen again in every possible way. When he felt that empty aloneness, when his lungs filled up as if he was drowning, he would take a pill and turn the television on and sink away from himself. He would slip away into the dream and try to find her. Every time he dreamt, he got closer.

His psychiatrist was asking him a question. John’s lungs were full of tar, he tried hard to breathe but he couldn’t. He opened his mouth and pulled in as hard as he could, but the air couldn’t get through the tar. Everything started to go white. He was slipping back into the dream. Every time he went in he got closer. It was a world just like any other one (it was ending). He knew it was ending, but he also knew that if he moved quickly enough, he could find her and kiss her before it ended. Everything would be alright if he kissed her. The world would click into place and time would stop. He had seen her face once, he saw her face every night, he knew it more intimately than his wife’s face. (What did Amy look like? She was very plain. She had curly hair. She was cute, but not gorgeous.) He had seen her face an infinite number of times, he had to find her again.

“When the world ends, when everything stops, there’ll be no more black and no more white.”
“Is that so John?”
“Do you know what it’s like to try as hard as you can to scream and not be able to make a sound? Do you know what it’s like to lacerate your throat trying to breathe and not be able to satisfy that desperate necessity? When the world ends, everything will fall apart, everything will fall together, everything will get hot and white and the boundaries that stop things from falling into each other will cease to be. The lines that stop one thing from running into another will disappear. When the world ends, it will be only the two of us. For an instant. An instant is the same as any other length of time. Nothing is permanent. But for that instant, there’ll be nothing keeping us apart.”