Food doesn’t taste bad, it just sits in her mouth like wet paper until she swallows it. She doesn’t enjoy sleeping but it passes the time; she stopped dreaming weeks ago and each night passes in a long, black blink. She sits with her family and watches them talk and laugh together and says, “Oh, yes,” in a cool doll’s voice whenever anyone says anything to her. She lies beneath her lover or rides on top of him and moves mechanically and proficiently but without interest. “Oh, yes,” she says, in a cool doll’s voice. She works quietly, writing reports on the more efficient scheduling of buses in the six counties, mind empty and still even as her fingers suggest expanding this route or combining these services. She sits in church and sits and stands and sings; when she bows her head in prayer there is nothing there, no plea, no worry, no thought, no anger. She inhabits her life like a traveler passing through an airport, a little tired, a little bored, only slightly curious about the city outside the wide windows and the red hills in the distance. She has withered like a leaf trembling in the first winds of autumn.