Because Hanley’s skin had been stripped off by the enemy, he could find no one who was willing to be with him for long. The nurses were obligated, of course, to see him now and then, and sometimes the doctor, but certainly not the other patients and certainly not his wife and children. He was raw, he was meat, and he would never be any better. He had a great and natural desire, therefore, to be possessed by someone.
He would walk around on his skinned feet, leaving bloody footprints up and down the corridors, looking for someone to love him.
‘You’re not supposed to be out here,’ the nurse said. And she added, somehow making it sound kind, ‘You untidy the floor, Hanley.’