I take the orange box from the pantie drawer and gen­tly slide off the cover. Inside is a small note writ­ten on a blue, heart-shaped post it note.

“You Found Me!” It says. “One pill will make you grow big­ger and one will make you grow smaller. LoL. I’m not say­ing which is which, and I am say­ing you can take only ONE!”

I start to gig­gle and I look at the pills that were beneath the note. They look like new­born babies sleep­ing in incu­ba­tors. They are almost iden­ti­cal though one seems to have a strange insignia engraved on it. I quickly close my eyes and the first pill I touch I grab and I toss it into my mouth. I swal­low it with a knot­ted feel­ing at the back of my throat and put the orange box back into the drawer and cover it up with the tan­ger­ine thong.

I walk over to a paint­ing of what appears to be a baby angel. I look at it and it is glow­ing, the eyes are pre­cious and inno­cent but in the next moment they are evil and pre­sump­tu­ous. The lit­tle girl’s grin becomes a scowl and I start to feel like she is suck­ing me in, like she wants to grab hold of my throat with her teeth, rip it open and suck out gush­ing blood. I run away from the room and grab the black cat. I hold him close to me and ask him if it’s alright. His claws come out and prick my arms. I throw him away and he becomes a bat and smashes against dif­fer­ent walls in the room.

I turn to the white cat and she is grin­ning. Her eyes are swirling balls of green smog, her mouth opens and she speaks.

“You fag­got!” she yells at me, her voice some ancient brass instru­ment. I look down at myself and my skin is stained in tan­ger­ine. I try to wipe it off but the color gets more and more intense. I run to the bath­room and rip off my clothes and hop into the shower. The water is boil­ing and I feel bits of my skin com­ing off as each drop hits me. I cry for the first time in ten years as the tan­ger­ine washes away. I can’t find a towel so I dry myself off with the Globe and Mail. It doesn’t work. I go into Sara’s room and I roll on the carpet.

When I stand up I am clean again and cold and naked. I find a shirt and shorts and I take Sara’s bike from the spare room. Her bike is pink and gear­less and it has lit­tle red stream­ers on it. I wheel it out of the apart­ment and onto the street. I bike down the hill.

The wind hits me like a thou­sand sweet breaths, the ones you feel right before you kiss. I imag­ine I am a sneeze fly­ing through a nos­tril. I say “weee” as I glide down the road on my lit­tle pink bike.

The streets are empty and it is dark. I begin to feel less self con­scious than I nor­mally would. I bike to the train tracks. I start to feel a light rain on my arms. The light rain turns to heavy and I find an old train car and sit under it. There is a lit­tle white but­ter­fly on a leaf next to me. It’s hid­ing from the rain too.

I don’t know how long I sat there, but I don’t sleep and I think of noth­ing for a long long time. I become one with the train tracks, one with the but­ter­fly, and one with every lit­tle drop of rain that meets the Earth around me.

“I left the door open,” I say to the but­ter­fly. My lips are cracked. “The cats are gone.”

<<<                  >>>