The man was curled in half. He slammed himself against the door over and over again thud and thud and thud.
Ramona was curled in half too. She huddled against the barricade she had built from the kitchen table and the dining room table and the dining room chairs and the TV trays.
He was not quite dead and she was not quite alive. It was the fourth evening of a wordless siege and poor Ramona was nearly broken.
Thud and thud the man at the door. If he had been able to feel his shoulders and his face and his arms he would not have been able to feel them. There was much of him on the door. His face was a sloppy paint palette in of gray and gray and brown and thud and red. Little rivers of tissue converged and congealed and fell onto the porch when thud he thud.
There had been an idea that the not quite dead were nothing like the normal living and this was not the case. There had been an idea that the not quite dead were just thoughtless slow-moving hunks of meat, robots speckled with gangrene and fly pupae, and this too was not the case. Toward the door he fell himself with the obsessive focus of a man in love. For this is what he was:
Before he was a man on the bus who smiled at Ramona and Ramona smiled and now he was thud and Ramona and thud. The more he at the door thud he wanted to look upon her with eyes which could not see. With a tongue lolling in the momentum of thud tell her: she had nice wrists, gentle. Of her teeth, straight, white, thud. Her hair was curly, thick, when she walked past on the bus it moved all together like it was waving goodbye and for thud a half-second he could smell it in the air behind her. Thud. To smell her thud he thud.
In moments of weakness he watched her for months get on the bus thud get off the bus thud never more than a smile or a mumble thud. and here! a singular act of bravery, thud, redemption, thud. To seize the thud. To be with Ramona he thud and thud. To be ever nearer! To be one and thud the Ramona, together, love! To have her within, to devour!
Within she was he and his was hers and thud and she. Consumption was a kind of love, thud cobbled together with thud and clumsy hands that could not bend. To have, to be within and without, an all-consuming desire to consume all.
(When her hair was combed Ramona was not a stranger to an aggressive suitor. But, finally, someone too intensely loved Ramona for her braaaaaaaains.)