Translated by Lenguo Callado
For David Brewster

Returning home, something was not quite right. Yet it was not quite wrong either. Hada had had a normal day at work, though that is relative, of course, as her job was anything but normal. Her dream job after earning her master’s degree in applied biology, she worked in an experimental biochemistry lab, where they had various ongoing projects ranging from hybrid enzyme manipulation to big data biochemical informatics to proactive and protective uses of infectious viral diseases.

Working with Dr. Alil Sangray was a whirlwind of ideas, cells, specimens, spectrometers, data, and discovery. Although some jobs were clearly commissioned, much of the work in The Lab seemed discretionary, almost arbitrary. One could say they were simply pursuing their passions, however it was not as simple as that and it was not their personal interests. It was a much more spiritual calling, especially for Dr. Sangray, who once as a young girl had a vatic vision of saving the world in vitro. Even while dedicated to her childhood revelation, she was not sure how she would accomplish it. That is, not until she founded The Lab. Success, however, remained elusive, as every day Dr. Alil, Hada, and other members of The Team each made at least one critical error that they never became aware of.

Neither cluttered nor sparse, Hada’s hyaline home was decorated in a design genre that could be charitably described as arts and sciences. There were different sizes, shapes, and colors of glass objects, her favorite material due to its transparent strength, and even her furniture, let alone her light fixtures, were one-time chemistry beakers, old stained-glass windows, glass blocks, mirror shards, light bulbs, and cobbled together sea glass. She thought it virtuous to be vitreous, not simply that glass was nice, but that glass was good. Glass made her feel powerful, open, alive, transcendent. That feeling also explained the unusual glass pendant that always adorned her slender neck.

There was an entrance way, living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, each with their own uses, of course, yet they were nearly identically decorated and visually almost indistinguishable. For those few who visited the house, their orientation to Hada’s house was concomitant with a sense of disorientation, especially when transitioning between rooms, as it was not always certain if one had indeed transitioned. And there were those who thought they had transitioned to another room, when in fact they had not actually done so. Even when someone definitely had transitioned into another room, they often could not specify the particular moment of actually doing so. There was no noticeable liminality.

On the other side of the city, Mr. Magullado had arrived at the local hospital bloody, bruised, befuddled, without identification, and seemingly with amnesia. He might have had a brain injury. As instructed, a hospital intern was scrambling to jot down everything the patient said — wild stories about a laboratory with test tubes, mad scientists, deadly diseases, swirling colors, so many swirling shapes and colors, and much rambling about glass and more glass — at least everything he thought worthwhile to record, but some of what the patient rapidly muttered could not be understood and some of it could not be written. Not, that is, with the cognitive, social, and linguistic skills available between them.

A nurse shuffled in, sincerely asking about the patient, and sighed deeply, remarking that she had, many years earlier, once been exposed to a person named Hada with kaleidoscopia, adding that, for better and for worse, it had changed the way she thought because it changed the way she saw. Not just what her eyes saw, Nurse Camelia explained, but her heart as well. She said it was not hallucinations per se, and not quite synaesthesia, but rather an occasional enveloping perspective, an emotional paradigm of radically expansive inclusion that often colonized all other thoughts and feelings. She found it more spiritual, if that is the word, than any other religious, philosophical, or spiritual path. There were no rituals, no leaders, no magic phrases, no sacred books, no drinks or drugs, just senses, spirit, sympathy, satisfaction. In any event, in this particular case, she did not choose the path she was on, the path chose her. Perhaps that is less unusual than is often thought.

Nurse Camelia wished him luck, though the intern took it as a form of pity for Mr. Magullado, the bewildered patient. The nurse quickly corrected the intern’s misperception, suggesting that the luck was indeed intended for him, as her own life has been so much richer in the inner ways that matter most due to the experience she once had, despite a certain price she had to pay, which she never elucidated.