I figured Max probably had three items of clothing he wore on rotation. I had time to think about this when I got stuck in a conversation with him earlier this week. As he mumbled about his dead dog and its mange that had brought the neighbourhood’s ire down on it like blades – probably the actual cause of the sick dog’s death Max told me once – I took some time to really look at him. For one thing, his eyes are alarmingly bright. Wide, perfectly brown pools of mountain water that sparkle from under his bushy brows. And the skin around his eyes? Smooth. Far smoother than the white of his hair suggests it should be. I wonder what he would look like if I took a blade to his face and uncovered it from its fur mask. What anomaly of age hides behind this fright of hair. I wonder what his mouth looks like. Every now and then, like when he’s licking his lips between words, I get a glimpse of a pink fleshy pout. I try not to look at it too long because it’s difficult not to pull a face at the remnants of some food goop dripping off of the ends of his moustache.

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