On the morning of the Inevitable Event, one hundred and eighty adolescents––the early comers, twitching like feral cats at the long mica tables of the cafeteria, heads bowed to handhelds––stiffened in synchrony, reflexively, like an orchestra tensing to the lift of a conductor’s baton.

What prompted this? An eleven-word announcement on Twitter: “Gunshots fired at Kennedy High. Suspects at large. STUDENTS REMAIN INDOORS.”

Adrift in that slack-tide between knowledge and truth, the children slow-chewed their powdered eggs, scrolled for explanations, flicked glances at each other’s thumbs. They wondered in chastened silence if anyone had heard the shots. Mr. Lawman––a bald, chalk-coated pug of a physics teacher––hustled across the center stretch of linoleum, chain looped over one shoulder, as the intercom keened to life:

“Students and educators!” A manic voice from the overhead speakers. “We have an emergency situation. This is not a drill. We are on lockdown. I repeat, we are on lockdown!”

The plea from above did nothing to agitate the youths. Rather, it had the opposite effect; it soothed them, gave assurance they were not being deceived by their most trusted sources. “Students will please go and have a seat against the south wall!”

Mr. Lawman knelt at the exit doors, slid his chain through the crash bars, fumbled the lock. The apparatus screeded, clashed to the floor. Watching behind clouds of fragrant steam, the white-smocked ladies of the kitchen tossed their hands up, rolled their eyes back as if to shout, “Oh no, we didn’t sign up for this!”

Someone killed the lights.

Mr. Lawman, all damp polyester, recovered his chain with jiggling paws, clunked the padlock in place, barricaded the doors with plastic chairs. The early comers––the cafeteria staff, the teachers, the one hundred and eighty electronically-sated youths––all migrated to the south wall to await further clues or instructions.

THESIS

In Calvin Pavlovich’s tenth-grade yearbook photograph1, he exhibits the distinctive slumping tuck of chin, narrow jaw, and moppish dishwater crown of the blond pelican. Pavlovich’s complexion is equally pale, anemic almost, all but the sunburnt tip of his nose and a lurid cluster of acne below the lips (suggestive, perhaps, of internal irritation, an eruptive energy beneath the surface). At first glance, long-faced Pavlovich might pass for a beachside towhead, a surf punk, but his eyes give him away––they hold less white than normal human eyes; they are bluer; they bioluminesce in the way of the madman or the artist.

Euclid of Alexandria, the Greek abstractionist, proposed a theory of vision whereupon rays of light bound outward from the eyes rather than coursing into them. This concept always resonated with Pavlovich. He could accept, intellectually, Mr. Lawman’s photon narrative––light quanta, tiniest of force carriers, ambiguous wave-particles, collide with the human retina to trigger neural impulses in the brain––but it seemed equally reasonable, on an instinctual, animalistic level, to side with Euclid. What was vision without perception? All Pavlovich needed to apprehend this was to close his eyes.

Possibly the effulgence of Pavlovich’s gaze came as a byproduct of this brand of thinking. Yet he was mature and careful enough to abide both the ancient and modern explanations, to pencil them in as mirror images of one reality.

He pecked at his daily lunch from a nook where the peanut-butter-and-jelly station once stood before the budget cuts. Dipped his beak into hardcovers exhumed from musty corners of the school’s library: Plato’s dialogues, yellowed and cracked-bound copies of Schrödinger, Goethe, Joyce. Concepts presented themselves more rationally to Pavlovich on paper. His mind integrated poorly with smartphones and screen-borne images. When Pavlovich arrived upon a printed sentence with peculiar appeal (example: “Our experience of this world was desired by the cosmos, and needed by it for its own renewal”), his pupils would shudder, and the words would solidify in his brain, to remain there on permanent display like Parian marble sculpture.

On occasion, this strange teenager would lift his eyes up from his reading, and the cafeteria would churn before him as a brilliant lightshow: the pooled students, reacting in thrust and recoil, appeared to him just as Heidegger had described them––beings, all… stretched between birth and death.

But how could a mind like Calvin Pavlovich’s expect to maneuver through the burlesque fever dream of an American high school? The task of keeping up with the choreography presented a continual affront to his sensibilities. Pavlovich shambled, chin to chest, through flurries of awkward social moments, his pelican face (which could only be regarded lengthwise), the thin antiseptic line of his mouth, and the persistent urge to raise his head and swallow, were often taken by teachers and classmates as symptoms of deviance or malice. Was it possible when he passed them in the halls, some icy forebreath blew down their collars, some whisper-vision of the post-Inevitable-Event Pavlovich, his head shaven to the  scalp?

To unravel the leading string of the Inevitable Event, a student of causal dynamics might begin with the day prior, the moment the end-of-lunch bell lifted the students and whisked them as a swarm toward the double doors. Pavlovich, swept along with the tide, knocked shoulders with a tenth grader, a youth by the name of Andrew Collier. Some frictional energy, body capacitance or triboelectric charge passed between them, so that what might otherwise have been an everyday bump-and-run had the effect of jolting both boys upright, and freezing them in place.

Pavlovich found himself intensely attracted to Collier’s sensual, brooding face, the feathery beard, the beatific black eyes. A vision of the young Napoleon, the Napoleon of Jena, dubbed “world-spirit” by Hegel. His chest at a rolling boil, enraptured by what he perceived as sudden, complete mutual affection, Pavlovich focused the energy and luster of his luminous gaze onto the frayed drawstrings of Collier’s sweatshirt, and, desperate to say something, to prolong the moment, managed only a single word:

“Sup.”

Collier, like a cat repulsed by a strong smell, struck off toward the exits.

Students of the causal equation will note that during the 2.4 seconds Pavlovich and Collier stood regarding each other, a Significant Object had been planted into Pavlovich’s backpack. This moment represents a clear inflection point in Pavlovich’s graph, the point where his curve begins its rapid arcing ascent toward the Inevitable Event.

Environmental factors must also be considered. An unseasonably cool Atlantic marine layer, an electrostatic salt mist––the result of an upwelling of cold seawater––rolled in over the barrier island that same afternoon, and on the bicycle ride home from school, Pavlovich’s body tingled with unusually high bloodrushes of adrenaline. This euphoria, this joy of pedaling home, was almost enough to convince Pavlovich that Descartes had been right all along about the immortality of the soul. But how could you reconcile it? An invisible driver of the body––a thing without mass, without shape––how could it produce, absorb, or even reflect energy?

Didn’t l’esprit pose a direct conflict with the first law of thermodynamics? Pavlovich would consult Mr. Lawman on the matter tomorrow. The physics teacher would likely posit free will into some microscopic guidance system in the pineal gland, camouflage it in quantum entanglement. It seemed a stretch, all of it.

Pavlovich pushed against the wind. Did the soul fit into the scientific equation? The question itself was simple enough proof of the animus between science and religion. Take the argument to its conclusion. One subsumes the other.

Pavlovich inclined his head to the sky, as if his eyeballs had been tugged by some heavenly string. Though he did not see the veil of birds swimming high over the fog, he felt something of their undercurrents. His hair flicked back, his nose shot upward, and his front tire lost its line and skipped over the edge of the concrete. Pavlovich swerved; his bicycle hopped the curb. In a wild attempt to righten himself, he kicked the chain off the sprocket.

One could, as an exercise, calculate the probability that Pavlovich would have regained his balance if the weight of the Significant Object had been removed from his backpack. As it happened, his sneakers snatched air, and the boy pitched to the asphalt in a crumpled pile of gears and bones.

Hefting himself from the wreckage, leaning over his knees, Pavlovich retched at the sight of the fanned blood over his blond shin hairs. He stood his bicycle upside down, hooked the chain around the gear wheel, gentled it through two circles. Heavenly string? Stupid, wrong thinking. Better to frame it as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Humankind, unable to measure the universe around it, is prohibited from predicting its own future.

Certain connections were not lost on him. Once you strike down determinism, you solicit deism. Heisenberg, at his core, was a religionist. But this was the type of logic that sent you in circles. Just because man couldn’t measure a thing did not necessarily prove the thing immeasurable.

Pavlovich remounted the bike. He took to a very delicate pedaling. Harmonic motion, the swimming feet of waterfowl. His chain, half-slack, tenuous, ready to lose traction at any moment.

Invisible to Pavlovich as the roiling sea behind the shipwhite condominiums, or the coordinated flicker of wings above the fog, was this simple fact: he was a living creature, sixteen years of age, whose survival depended on the notion that his thoughts and actions guided his own destiny.

Pavlovich tuned himself to the weakened flow of the pedals and reconciled body and intellect to the dance, to the precarious coexistence of opposing modes.

ANTITHESIS

The sidewalk thrummed in advance of the sedan. A sable Cadillac, sleeking out of the gauze. Two blacked-out windows descended. The assault of the subwoofers struck Pavlovich, made him double-clutch, tracked him momentarily off equilibrium.

A skeletal girl––pale, black-lipsticked, a withering rose––smiled from the front window. Pavlovich noticed her flaxen roots and the thatches of lacerated pink skin over her white wrists. At the back window, he saw a more familiar face, a sophomore, name of Lacey, freckled, erect, plump in her white tanktop, measuring him with round and owlish eye behind an upheld phone.

Pavlovich could see him, in the darkness of the car, leaning over the steering wheel. Andrew Collier: he was shouting something, a message lost to the throbbing air. Pavlovich, neck compressing and elongating with each pedal-stroke, felt the hairs on his arms repelling each other, like wool electrified by amber. What was Collier holding in his hand?

“Shoot the kook!” Lacey shouted. And again, in frenzied contralto, “Shoot the kook!”

Pavlovich, blinking hard, unwilling to confront the object in Collier’s hand, wary of losing the sprocket, fought the urge to stand on the pedals, tried a gentle acceleration, swifted ahead.

If Mr. Lawman were to be trusted––that is, if causal dependence were a basic assumption of the physical system––then every event must spring naturally from prior events. Did Pavlovich believe his actions might alter the course of his future? No. But he accelerated along the sidewalk nonetheless. Aimed himself toward the corner and a more favorable wind. And he would have made the turn onto his home street, possibly, if the chain hadn’t once again disengaged and forced him into a crackling, jerking halt.

Pavlovich, hyper-attuned, dropped his legs to the sidewalk as the raven and the owl ejected from the sedan and flew over the grass toward him, in slow-motion, as if through a viscous air. Pavlovich released the handgrips, allowed his bicycle to slide to his feet, and, in a half-hearted attempt to prove the case for free will, steepled himself to meet the collision.

They struck with open and closed fists, twisted him over sharp metal, wrenched the backpack off his frail shoulders. A slow dance: bloodspritz on gearwheels, crack of elbow, blast of knee, shock of cheek dashed to concrete, clang in the ears, a whine, slow register of pain. Time, like air, more fluid in such instances.

Pavlovich’s assailants took the forms of goddesses above him… stitched upon the tattered grayness, hovering over his mortal shell, stirring in him fears and desires. He surrendered to them, to the danse macabre, rolled onto the bones of his back, gazed up in awe. They were mesmerizing: Lacey and the goth, the cutter, tearing into his backpack.

“Mo-ther fucker,” Lacey said, pulling out a ziploc bag packed with dense green sponges.

“You’re dead,” the cutter said, showing her whites. The words were like delicacies to her, like sweet revelations.

“Spit on him!” Lacey cried, and fit Pavlovich into the frame of her phone.

The cutter kissed out her black lips, showered white spray over Pavlovich’s face. Lacey, unsatisfied, leaned over him to offer something more substantial, something from the throat. The resulting photograph––froth worming down the bridge of Pavlovich’s nose––she posted on her Instagram account, along with this caption: “Moral of the story? Don’t be a kook. #fuckboy”.2

Spokes rattled against his neck as the furnace-engine rumbled off, hair bannering out the windows. Pavlovich did not immediately try to piece it together, nor did he assume someone would come to his assistance. The marine layer shimmered, seemed to offer some sentience to the quivering fingers of the Norfolk pines. “In nature there is nothing contingent, but all things are determined from the necessity of the divine nature to exist and act in a certain manner.” That was where Spinoza had it.

The temptation during times of pain was to refute freedom, to accept the predetermined nature of the universe. Skinned, prostrate, Pavlovich sympathized with Spinoza’s hostility toward Descartes. Yet this pattern of thought, he feared, led to nihilism, or worse still––faith.

He rose again, overturned the bike, rehooked the chain. Descartes’ position was free will. Spinoza took the opposition. With whom did Pavlovich side?

The wind, heavier now from the east, whipped at the cabbage palms. He leaned over the handlebars. Even Einstein, the great mind of the century before, had nurtured a deterministic worldview: “The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Pavlovich agreed, probably. Free will could only be a construct of time perception. The thread follows the shuttle through the warp, thinking itself an inchworm.

In this state of crack-up, finding a new harmony with the juking slackness of the chain, something struck young Pavlovich for first time: the possibility of a Venn overlap. A composition of freedom and inevitability.

SYNTHESIS

Kyle Bergson, the Pavloviches’ neighbor and the first person to see Calvin Pavlovich on the morning of the Inevitable Event, gave his testimony while the jury reviewed a glossy photograph of the slouch-roofed house on Brickley Road.

“He came out the front door with the dog. I saw him cross the street and stop under the big tree in Carlos’s yard. The dog was barking at some crows making a racket up in the branches, and Calvin was just standing there, not doing anything. I remember thinking, with the crows and the dog, they’re going to wake up the whole neighborhood.”

Students of causal physics might find it relevant, though Mr. Bergson omitted from his testimony, that the marine layer had persisted through the night, and this early scene––Pavlovich, the cawing crows, the West Highland Terrier barking up the eucalyptus, and Bergson himself, stiff in velveteen bathrobe, newspaper in hand, blond combover yet unattended––came clothed all in white vapor.

Would it have helped the jury to know what Pavlovich did next? To follow him through low sunlight into his backyard and stand alongside as he watched the flicker of paper butterflies on the white Jatropha, or to feel in Pavlovich’s facial tics the pure, childlike desire to understand whether the butterflies were prying open the flowers or only responding to the sudden blooms? The truth between these mutually necessary moments––the swollen buds and the tiny white flowers––was too quick even for Pavlovich’s eye. And what would it have told the jury, anyway? Perhaps nothing. Nor could the jury afford to pause, as the pre-Inevitable-Event Pavlovich, to contemplate such ungraspable movements. They were obliged to evidence, exhibits, attorneys, the parade of witnesses.

“Mrs. Pavlovich, did Calvin seem agitated to you when he came into the kitchen for breakfast that morning?”

“I don’t think so. He put a waffle in the toaster and poured himself a glass of orange juice.”

“Like a normal school day.”

“Yes, like any day. I was making coffee. The local news was on the TV. They were getting ready to do a rocket launch that afternoon.”

“And did Calvin say anything out of the ordinary, that you can remember, before he left for school?”

Mrs. Pavlovich, blonder than her son, muscled about the shoulders and breasts, fine-wrinkled at the eyes, hennish, conscious of the jury’s scrutiny, crossed her legs, pushed hair from her forehead. “No…” She veined up about the neck in an attempt to smile. “I’m not a morning person… I don’t remember that we said anything to each other.”

The prosecuting attorney, black-suited, bald at the eyebrows, a picture of Ekerot’s Death, glided across the oaken planks toward the jury box, allowing Mrs. Pavlovich’s words to hang there for a moment. “And would you tell us what happened next?”

Mrs. Pavlovich turned to the judge, her nose giving way to the slim, Pavlovichian beakline. “I barely had time to put the plates in the sink.” Her eyes were watering, her lips twisting up. She rose a hand to cover them. “Maybe a minute. I swore they were gunshots.”

It was time to bring on someone closer to the truth. One eye witness is worth more than ten who merely heard the thing. Testis oculatus unus plus valet quam auriti decem. The spectators in the courtroom, sniffling and coughing all morning in the pews, quieted now as the next witness took the stand.

“At 7:10 on the morning of the attack, April seventh, a black Cadillac was parked on the road in front of the Pavlovich household. I’ll ask the witness to identify this vehicle. Exhibit E. You were sitting in the front seat of this car on that day, is that right? Andrew Collier was in the driver’s seat, and Lacey Zisk was in the back side, at the passenger window?”

“Yes.”

“And could you tell us why the three of you were in that car, idling in front of Calvin Pavlovich’s house?”

The jurors awaited a reply, but received only the snap of gum. Abrased now of the obsidian paint, three inches of honey-blond hair fronting her ponytail, sleeves covering the forearms, the cutter gave little away. But she seemed to them a creature riven of empathy, something of the carrion eater in the pouch of her mouth.

“Very well. Let’s step back. You and Andrew had recently been engaged, a few days prior to the attack, correct?”

“Yeah.”

“In the police report you claimed Lacey was jealous of your engagement, and that she had surreptitiously stashed a bag of Andrew’s marijuana in Calvin Pavlovich’s backpack the day before, in an attempt to sabotage your relationship, or to get Andrew in trouble somehow?”

“Right.”

“Andrew was a minor at the time, seventeen years old. A part-time drug dealer, as we said before. But you were living with him in an apartment on Roosevelt Street. Did his parents know you meant to be married?”

“I don’t know what my parents knew,” the cutter said.

The jurors tried to follow the prosecution’s subtle constructions. They chewed the insides of their cheeks, but they were distracted, unable to see the Inevitable Event as they wished to see it––in high definition, in surround sound, in real time. The trial, they understood, was a false reproduction, a sham. An exercise in not-knowing. Heisenberg’s tenet, again: shine a light on anything and blind yourself to its truth.

But the matter of guilt had already been established. The only question that remained was premeditation. So the jurors––diligent souls––squirmed and listened, craving all the while the Inevitable Event as it was meant to be seen, through the eyes of Pavlovich.

What if Pavlovich had testified? Would it have affected their deliberations? He could have told them how he had stepped into the garage that morning with Sartre on his mind, and pondered the students in the cafeteria. Had they disowned their innate freedom? Pinching his bicycle tires, he remembered the thing the cutter had said to him, and went to the workbench and opened his mother’s gun case, and took out the .22 and balanced it in one spindly hand, and put it back in the case again.

What else could Pavlovich offer them? The blinding sting of the sun as he emerged from the garage. He never saw the car parked behind the oleanders. Or the glowing figure rushing toward him.

Little Napoleon, world-soul: charging, angelic, staff raised, cued up on molly––what horror, what ecstasy drove him? Murderous intent? Love repressed? What design, what measure could the jury assign to the arc of Collier’s crowbar, or the blast of steel upon skull? What purpose in the ensuing moment of hesitation, in the curl of lips, or the subsequent wind-up, or the groaning smack and release of the second strike? All these questions were unanswerable, for neither Calvin Pavlovich nor Andrew Collier would give testimony.

Jurisprudence––a human science––evidences Hegel’s claim that the scientific method finds its natural expression in speculative philosophy. The species collective interprets mysteries projected on cave walls. So the jurors accepted the narrative. What choice did they have? They shuffled through photographs, listened to secondhand accounts from the neighbor, the heart-stricken mother, and the hollow-eyed white raveness, kicking her ankle monitor unapologetically before them. Finally, they heard the report of Kennedy Beach police officer Michael Rivera, a first responder on the morning of the Inevitable Event:

“The call came in as an assault with a deadly weapon. Brickley Road. Single-family home, half-mile from the high school.” Chiseled, buzz-cut, straining the seams of his uniform, Rivera delivered it straight. “When I arrived, the victim was lying on the ground about ten feet from the front door. From the blood and organic matter on the concrete you could see someone had dragged the body, or else he had crawled about twenty feet up the driveway. I radioed in. Serious skull fractures, potentially gunshot wounds. Due to the proximity to the school, and an assailant still at large, Kennedy High was put on mandatory lockdown.”

A graphic photograph of the victim, face-down on the drive, hair gleaming like game fur, was presented to the jury in a manila envelope marked “Exhibit F”.

This third version of Pavlovich, knotted on the cement, scapulae like bloody wings, represented the end of the jury’s thread.

In their secret hearts, the jurors longed to continue the story, to rise with him in flight over the barrier island, to awake in seep of morphine drip, gasping, heavy-eyed, tucked under gurney-strap, with strange hands groping him all over. They yearned for the weightless carry of the helicopter as it banked into cloud––to be overtaken, along with Pavlovich, by hallucinations and revelations––but they were tethered in place and time.

In the end, they would rule for the prosecution. For premeditation. Even this judgment, they understood, was contingent on whether the victim lived or died.

If Pavlovich could have testified, he would have told them how, opening his eyes in the helicopter, he had seen them––the very faces of the jurors––looming over his slender body, prodding him, feeling him. And in place of normal eyes, they had the milky, cataracted orbs of the blind.

Was Pavlovich afraid in that moment? He remained observant, keenly attentive. Inwardly he laughed at himself for succumbing in this time of real trauma to the religious impulse. Why should it come to him now? It was absurd, suspect, yet here it was: the blind men and the elephant… the Jainist fable on the impossibility of true perception. The jurors slid their open palms over his skin, examined his contours with their fingers. Did they understand what they were touching? They mistook him for a branch, a rock, a bird, a rope, a piece of canvas.

Rapt in dream-visions, Pavlovich wondered if faith might simply be the attempt to understand the infinite. But what was the moral of his fable? It related somehow to the Kevali, the all-knowing, the combination of all viewpoints. A dance of laughter and confusion. All these hundreds of thousands of years, humans had struggled to measure things, yet over half the universe remained dark matter to them, completely invisible.

How would Mr. Lawman have responded to Pavlovich’s question? Could you synthesize free will and predestination? Would he have told his student that the Kevali is nothing more or less than LaPlanck’s demon?

But Pavlovich never had the chance to ask.

As for the students in the cafeteria, the early comers, and the ladies gelatinizing the eggs, and the tense-necked educators, and the parents who lived within a half-mile radius of the high school, and the buttoned-up reporters who rode in to cover what they were sure was another school shooting, and the policepeople of Kennedy Beach, unspooling their caution tape, and the latex-gloved medics, and all the elderly folks in their beachfront condos following the proceedings on television––they would require context in the weeks and months to come. The Inevitable Event had been broadcast for them in such detail, and the mindless brutality had left them so unsettled that they felt compelled to invent credible reasoning.

They studied the tenth-grade yearbook photos of the victim and the attacker, and the two accomplices, and shared their thoughts on Facebook, and they opined at school board meetings, and wrote editorials in the local newspapers, and they did their best to fit the Inevitable Event into its proper category through rhetorical questioning. Was Pavlovich gay? Had the attack been a hate crime? Wasn’t this another case of drug-related violence? Or was he a high-functioning autistic? What were schools doing to prevent bullying? How could Andrew Collier’s mother, a wealthy doctor, let her child move out of the house at the age of sixteen? Would this attack have mattered as much to the people of Kennedy Beach if Pavlovich had been black? If he lived, would he be permanently brain damaged? Quadriplegic? What symbolism should they paste or collage over the meaningless violence of youth?

A few weeks after the Inevitable Event, some students from Pavlovich’s class, out of goodwill or morbid curiosity, took the elevator up to his room at the Cape Kennedy Hospital. They regretted the decision the instant they stepped in the room. The tallow bandages, spot-stained, were mounded like mummy-wrap over the skull, and the purple scalp showed in places. The feeding tube protruded thickly from the mouth. Worse still for the unlucky visitors than the vulgar face––long, unctuous, lopsided––and the knobbed protrusions of Pavlovich’s ribs and shoulders beneath the sheets, were those eyes… sensual as a newborn’s, glowing at them with reptilian brilliance.

Andrew Collier received no such visitors. Shorn of his plumage, bruised, softened, mutilated by repeated beatings in the juvie yard (the others, jawboned and muscled as lions, asserted dominance over him, choked him out, collected daily reparations), Collier rocked on his moist gray mattress, spit fingernails onto white tiles.  He had made a play on the psychopathic, plunged himself into nightmare. Little white beastie. He gazed at the metal toilet of his exile and waited, seemed to wait eternally, on Pavlovich’s decision. Even now, after the fact, Collier could not apprehend how permanently the boys’ strings were intertwined. What would it be? Live or die.

Shortly after the jury’s verdict, the two hundred forty-one inmates in the Titusville juvenile detention center yard––Andrew Collier included––ceased for an instant their Brownian bobbing and weaving dance, and stood at solemn attention, all facing east. Why? Sudden torch-fire above the Cape. The surging glare of Delta IV Heavy thrusters. Straight-backed as a military company, they followed the climb of the rocket until the air ruptured in a rolling boom, rattling the chain link fences, jarring the concrete, rousing them again.

The boom carried across the river, where it buffeted the walls of the Cape Kennedy Hospital. In a room on the sixth floor, the cracked pelican head of Calvin Pavlovich looped on its neck and cocked its strange eyes toward the window. Far off, the bright cloudstring of the exhaust plume broke apart, and the white star escaped the atmosphere in a poof, a silent, uncertain explosion, a pinhole punched in the heavens.

 


1. The picture which went viral in the aftermath of Inevitable Event.

2. The photograph was deleted the next day in the wake of the Inevitable Event, but would be released to the jury two months later, as part of “Exhibit C”. The jurors, students of the causal equation in their own right, would carry now this alternate vision of Pavlovich––spit-streaked, puffy-eyed, 1977-filtered, braided over the handlebars––to hold up against the more widely-distributed photograph from his tenth-grade yearbook.