It may be the case that in Heaven all one needs is quickly placed beneath the hand, so as to seem constantly available, but here on the earth everything is constantly missing or broken. I cleaned the blood out of the driver's seat and drove down the highway to Gulnac, where homeless people built metal detectors from stolen batteries and Pringles cans to scan graveyards for rings and fillings. At the side of the road just before the city limits there was a small luminous boy in the garb of a preacher. He told me a parable of revenge and loss. He told me a parable of ache and love and how all these hungers will be satisfied. He told me a parable of DNA sequences, of the star-maps along the zodiac, of the misguiding direction of gravity. "Do you believe there is a secret road?" the luminous boy asked. "The road is not secret; I can hear it even when I am asleep." The luminous boy smiled. "I grant you safe passage into Gulnac, as an envoy of the King. You will need to find a second passage out." I nodded, and faded, and threw up in the passenger seat, reading the half-digested chunks as an oracle, an oracle that told me to steer clear of the gun shop and the whorehouse. I found two twenties tucked beneath the driver's seat, and went looking for a street fighting match, which Gulnac used to be famous for, but a wave of malnutrition had washed over the city and now nobody was physically able to sustain the endless feats of cunning and physical endurance that street fighting matches called for. So much for gambling away my newfound fortune. I parked the car beside a grain silo and fell asleep, rolling into the vomit-puddle without so much as a wince.

the exit is hidden within the exit