Under the knife, all the relationships in his life suddenly lay heavily on him. Though the neurosurgeon’s laser dredged its path towards his entombed tumour, he was no longer trailing its distempering on the monitor. Instead he was poring over the topography of his pinkish gray matter, gilded blood red. The furrows and wrinkles seemed to him composed of contorted homunculi. Bodies folded into impossible angles and compacted against one another like a game of human Tetris. Or one of those mass choreographies beloved by totalitarian dictators. Those consecrated as tribute to the minotaur in him. He tried to exhume the faces in his recollection. His lovers and business partners. Family, friends and the networked. Lovers become haters. Business partners fleeced and rendered decorticated saps. Family who were disowned and covered up like furniture beneath dust sheets. Friends metamorphosed into fiends, while the networked snapped and unsutured once they had become of no further value to him. Picked clean and prostrated. Relationship was about compressing the space between two bodies unto airlessness. Anything within his province, that he could reach out and touch, had to become his. Unless he deemed it as unworthy of owning, when he just crushed it and let it fall. He had devoured everyone in his life. Laid them to rest in the catacombs of his mind, immured without ceremony or memorial. Their heaped husks rising to form the labyrinth of his faithlessness. And here was the surgeon exhuming them, as they unfurled themselves, stretched and meekly followed in the wake of the laser, like a cortege. Unwrapping the intricate convolutions of his bulwark and his redoubt. Maze and Thesean thread both being balled up even as they unravelled him. Their visages veered up to confront him before coiling away to drape themselves on the skein of his tumescence in advance of the surgeon’s laser.