Whenever he crossed the threshold into her dingy, little house, he entered a world that existed outside the dimensions of his ordinary life. Here time ran on a different clock. Sometimes it seemed that she sat exactly where he had left her the Friday before, frozen out of time, waiting for him to reanimate her. At other times, months or even years seemed to have passed by as she lived on without him.

He never knew which it would be. She’d open the door to him and turn into the room without speaking. He’d follow her inside, taking a deep breath before stepping over the threshold. Like a swimmer plunging into cold water, the shock of entering her world was at the same time uncomfortable and invigorating.

He’d stand inside the doorway disoriented, trying to regain his bearings.

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The surface and beneath the surface