Kirsten sat next to him, stroking his head, or what you would call the head of Bruce, who more than anything resembled a gangly ball of flesh with only the slightest, warped protrusions serving as limbs. He was not well, she knew. He was starting to feel like he looked. She could not stay here with him all day, as they both would have liked. No, she had to go to work. Her mother would watch him while she was away, promising to care for Bruce, “the thing”, as she called him, as best she knew how. This was no relief to Kristen, who didn't believe her mother knew how to take care of Bruce at all nor did she have the compassion to see any sort of worth in his rumpled layers of sick pink flesh. Kristen was able to see something in his eye that her mother could not. She looked at him pitifully before getting up, and noticed the blood dripping from his mouth hole, a different shade, a madder red. She wiped it with a washcloth and sighed, now wanting to leave even less, his condition growing worse before her eyes. She did not stay at work very long. The mother cried on the other end of the phone, aware that something was wrong but unable to understand what. Kristen left the phone dangling by the receiver and fled, speaking to no one. At home she scooped the bleeding form of Bruce into her arms and ran to her car, drawing attention from the neighbors as the round mess of Bruce leaked on the sidewalk. They sped away in her car, Bruce leaving his last permanent impressions on her upholstery as his life drained away from him. Later she would watch on the other side of a glass panel as EMTs attempted to revitalize him, looking down from above, confused, unable to fix something they saw as permanently broken. Lines faded and beeps died down to a single tone. From inside she heard a distant howling. Bruce died on the operating table and the surgeons looked up at her with as much remorse as they could muster for the ball of dangling limbs, the mad red corpse of something never seen as alive in the first place, proof that what we care about is usually less important that the act of caring itself, the act of seeing something to it's end. Kristen left the ER alone and walked to her car and she shuddered inside, the moaning still inside her now forever without Bruce, without a reason. Moved by instinct she looked skyward and saw him, felt him from above, thanking her for things that need no thanks.