“I don’t think he’s coming.”


“Your friend’s not coming.”

“His flight’s probably been delayed, he’ll be here.”

Paul couldn’t tell if Young Paul was being purposely provocative or if he was insensitively expressing an opinion. He stared at him with suspicion.

“Maybe he forgot,” Young Paul continued.

“You don’t even know Teeth!” Maybe Teeth just was that kind of person.

“Anyone can forget.”

“You’ve been distracting me, I should’ve been keeping a closer watch—” Maybe Teeth just was that kind of person. Their union was founded on a moth’s wing. Everything was chance with Teeth.

“You’ve been here for a really long time. You should go home.”

Paul stared for a long time at Young Paul. He stared and he stared until he flew forward and the two of them tumbled to the ground holding onto each other.

People began to gather politely at a safe distance around them. People began to stare, too.

Paul noticed them, but… How to let them know that it was really O.K.? That it was only himself, seven years younger, that he was trying to strangle?

As Paul swung and tore at the cells and bone before him, he saw a hilltop monastery. He saw a hilltop monastery and a bald monk on an open precipice pushing against the wind in a fluttering orange robe. The wind was pretty, and it carried within it a pastel moth which caught Paul’s sight and reminded him of the face of his mother. In that instant, Paul received a blow to his temple and found himself small and hurtling through capillaries he understood to be his own where he conversed with minerals and proteins he understood to have made him. Then, as Paul felt blood on his nails and cheeks, he became the wall in his room, and he was looking out at himself, fourteen years old, on the floor, sobbing at his knuckles, unable to breathe because the galaxy was in his lungs.

Out of breath, Paul let go of Young Paul and got to his feet and Young Paul got to his feet after him. They looked into each other’s eyes, then to the automated sliding doors beyond them.

Another flood of travelers was just emerging, like long strings of code. Paul thought of the birds whose neurons would restart every spring to relearn the song that would return them to their mate.

Paul and Young Paul resumed their seats side-by-side.

They were going to stay.

Images taken between 2011 and 2014, in New York and Hillerod, Denmark