A streak of hair gel and sweat shines on his pillowcase. She lies unclothed in the dark beside him, moving like mist off the lake at the family cottage. Middle of the night, deep in the city’s engine; what unaccountable atrocities are taking place? What meat cleavers lie in the tulip patches? What knives are propped blade-down in the compost bins? What if the misspelled words on alley walls are the clues to crimes? ‘Creep’ spelled with a K, with seven eeeeeees. No one’s born a creep, he thinks; it comes upon you with the stealth of silverfish, until all of the self-help books on the table look like concert t-shirts, eaten by bleach, or time. He would like to wake her now, but she has already left the window, is already smoke. The gel and sweat has settled into a thin crust on the pillowcase. He breaks it apart, sweeps the flakes. He will have to walk across the street for coffee. Call the council. He will have to call his wife. A bouquet of jet fuel perfumes the valley. The cut bank’s infected with purple loosestrife.