What the Movies Have Done To Us An illness and an end: she was now a mother alone. At the cinema with her son (“Go, do things, create normalcy in the midst of…”, etc.) she remembered how it was, how it felt, believing in a bestiary of gallant and less-so creatures. As a child she’d thought it Providence. She’d watched Totos and Mama Bambis and imagined God watching her the same way: voicing clever, nurturing dolls or dressing up in a house of soundless air, latent rooms. It was a Providence to see, to be where no intervention was needed, where all was embroidery, topiary, mercury poured onto glass, blanching everything that went before; it was safe. She wanted that now for her son: an orb he could carry and in the night shine a flashlight through, make a world of simple joy, a world where, when someone placed a rose upon black velvet, it stayed there. On the night of the day the two made their outing, a vagrant Tom set himself outside the porch screen. The family cat was in heat. There was shrieking. It woke the mother; it filled the air. Her son came, pried at the bedclothes, flattened himself against her. “I have the hiccups,” he said. She gave him a tickle. The body of her son, restless and small, carrier of warmth, frightened her. It made her remember that other body. Understandable, she thought. Surely it was. But as her son fell asleep, she thought, nonsense. This was something else, barely knowable. It was snarling and wild, breathing there. It wanted entry; it wanted to pour light and heat through her single frame, to melt her away, melt her to nothing.