It’s cold. Almost winter. Her hair is long, not yet short. I run a bath for her. She refuses to get out of bed, so I yank the cover off, and she quickly makes a run for it as naked as the day she was born. In the bath, in the water, she is submerged. The circles around her eyes are more prominent than ever when she’s in the water. She’s the saddest looking girl I’ve ever seen. Her hair floats about her like a crown of thorns. She’s holy on her mother’s side, and yet on her father’s side, she’s as wild as a grisly bear with an empty belly and a thorn in its foot. Her temper boils the water, and the steam hangs heavy. Sitting next to her, I stroke the water and run a comb through her hair. The three stars on her face remind me of the night sky outside my old childhood bedroom. The sight of its distant splendour, of its gigantic nature, stirring within me the strangest desire to escape. In those eyes, and in the beat of her desperate heart, I glimpse the music of elsewhere. I crave it now just as I did then when she waltzed into my life like a black swan dancing on ice. When it comes to shaving her noonie, she tells me to leave the room. I linger and make my excuses not to, but she merely sits there, staring at me with those accusing, abused eyes.