An Education In Blood


Dear Tolmach,

'...I remember blood, Judith's, a great pool thickening against the floor as in a shallow basin. The tiny octagonal floor tiles slanting ever so slightly toward the base of the old crow-footed yellow tub. Each tile hiding flecks of blood.

'Within the tub more blood, liberally marbleizing the smooth porcelain in clots, fibers, speckles, flakes: some partly hemolized; others gummy resins; or little red rainbow bubbles on the dark soapy surface of the water bobbing...

'Twisted filaments of arterial blood spattering the glossy ivory walls; strands dangling off the medicine chest, the legs of the white spool step-stool, the steel bead string of the light fixture. The cotton-pile bathmat blood-soaked; the sill shellacked light crimson, too, as if a great whirlpool of living, reeking stuff burst the door into that tiny close room, spinning in a frenzy to deposit puddles, smudges, clots and zigzag tracings everywhere before, dissipated, a way out was eased through the narrow crack of window above the old tub.

'You have asked, dear Tolmach, what I can remember of my late wife Judith's 'murder.' Blood...