Single Frame: Autumn Close Up #16

From the (very dark, extra-super-creepy, not for the squeamish, perfectly chilling for the day before Halloween but best not read at night) novel Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates:

“My name is Q__ P__ & I am thirty-one years old, three months. Height five feet ten, weight one hundred forty-seven pounds…. Distinguishing features: none….”

“I see my probation officer Mr. T__ alternate Thursdays 10 A.M., downtown Mt. Vernon. My therapist Dr. E__ Mondays 4 P.M., University Medical Center. Group therapy with Dr. B__ is Tuesdays 7 P.M. I am not doing well, I think…. I know they are writing reports. But I am not allowed to see. If one of these was a woman I would do better, I feel. They believe you, they are not always watching you. EYE CONTACT HAS BEEN MY DOWNFALL….”

“Mon. 4:00 P.M.-4:50 P.M. Mt. Vernon Medical Center on the other side of the campus, in good weather I walk & in bad weather drive…. Dr. E__ says ‘Well, Quentin. This brisk autumn air is a tonic isn’t it. After our long hot summer.’ There is a double meaning in this I know…. [It] is awkward in Dr. E__’s office. I sit across from his desk & stare at the floor. Or at my hands I have scrubbed. RAISINEYES’ wristwatch on my left arm & its bronze face secret where I watch the tiny numerals flashing bronze. & around my right wrist my solitary memento of SQUIRREL. Dr. E__ asks do I have any dreams to speak of today. There is a flurry of leaves against the window behind him & the sky is darkening so early….”

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