it's better to face these things with a sense of poise and rationality
It was a bad night and he hisses as he puts disinfectant on the scratches he's acquired while slept. It's like sleeping on a bed of nails. One day soon Krad won't be careful any more and the marks will show on his neck, his hands, fingernail marks on his face as if something was trying to get out, away from his skin.
He goes to school. He watches a boy with shining hair and a red smiling mouth.
He comes home. The boy with the red mouth follows him part of the way, talking talking talking, like a bird singing. He answers in monosyllables and doesn't consciously pay attention but if someone asked him he could recite every word and mime every gesture of the boy's sturdy hands. He tries to forget as soon as the boy leaves him.
The fax machine is spewing paper angrily, page after page after page, like a volcano, like a boil being lanced and spurting white pus. He picks up the papers, puts them neatly in order. Begins to read.
Later that night he's got him, the other, the red-shining-boy's other self, almost trapped, almost cornered, black wings shivering and gleaming dully in the half-light of the moon, and he takes a step forward and another step, and the other says, come, you know it doesn't have to be this way and he jerks in violent surprise.
Wings snap, spread, push against the empty air, and the other is in the air, blocking what faint light there is. It would be so easy, so very easy to just. He clenches his fist and watches him escape and he thinks about the red lips of the shining boy and he turns away.
He goes home.
He's lying in bed and thinking about nothing. It's really hard to think about nothing; you have to slow your breath and look up at the ceiling and imagine nothing but white. Not clouds, or the ceiling, or anything like that, just the color, the essence of white. He's gotten good at it.
He's not really sad or angry or bitter or anything. He just wants it to finish. He's waiting, he's been waiting, he will be waiting. Forever and ever, world without end, amen.
He waits, and soon enough he dreams.