Gone.

She lost a part of her soul today. A hunk ripped out, like a hearty bite taken out of a firm-fleshed apple. This piece of her soul was the one that housed innocence and naiveté. Nothing terrible had ever happened to her before. Trauma happened behind TV screens, in faux, pixellated worlds. Trauma happened on 11 o’clock news and from atop screaming headlines and in blockbuster movies that bruised ear drums in dark, butter-scented movie theaters on suburban Saturday nights.

This piece of her soul was now vaporized in the carbon dioxide that wafted from the backseat of the Toyota Camry, led there by a garden hose snaked into the car’s exhaust and held fast by household duct tape. The same duct tape, incidentally, that she used last Tuesday to repair a hole in the kitchen window screen. In the instant before this piece of her soul vanished, her brain, without regard for feelings, thankfully, instructed her as to exactly what to do in this situation. She knew, for she had seen it on TV, and in screaming headlines, and from her seat in butter-scented movie theaters. Art. Life.

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