I imagine being in a hospital bed, holding my dying, unfaithful lover in my arms. I imagine feeling the beat of his heart, thumping with dumb animal purity. Once, when I was working in Spain, I went to a bullfight, where I saw a gored horse run with its intestines spilling out behind it. It was trying to outrun death by doing what it always did, what always gave it joy, safety, and pride. Not understanding that what had always been good was now futile and worthless, and humiliated by its inability to understand. That’s how I imagine Duncan’s heart. Beating like it always had, working as hard as it could. Not understanding why it was no good. This was why Veronica got into the bed–to comfort this debased heart. To say to it, But you are good. I see. I know. You are good. Even if it doesn’t work.

–Mary Gaitskill, Veronica