I vividly remember the day she came to me - she was suffering and the moment I saw her I understood her ailment. I had seen it before and I knew her end was near.
She walked in haughtily into my consulting room and told me she was Desdemona. I asked her what’s with all the paint on her face. She said she was a dancer, a performer. She travels from town to town, dancing in front of the crowd, taking care of her old mother with whatever she collects.
I told her what she knew already. She was calm. I told her that another patient with the same problem is waiting inside the room. It was a cat, a tomcat.
It was a seed, a seed which penetrates your limbs and grows inside your thighs; grows into a full grown thorny plant inside you, killing you from inside. There was nothing anyone could do about it.
I saw her the next evening - her body along with an old woman’s, floating in the river, like a tableau in a carnival. Her face was still painted, her eyes - her eyes were staring at me. She was still that performer she always were. And, it is the same face I see every night in my dreams, making me wake up every single time, drenched in cold sweat.