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"We're all a little bit crazy, you know. Some of us more than others, obviously. But we are all mad."

She paused, took a sip of the room-temperature wine that she had been holding for hours.

"Insanity is what makes this world go 'round. Little carousel of psychosis in the stars. I mean, imagine if we were all sane. Normal! No deviation from the accepted. Each and every thought held accountable to the selfsame parameters of regularity and sanity."

Another pause as she swallowed another mouthful of delightfully sweet liquid; in the interlude she managed to glance across the table and smile to him.

"We'd become biological robots. Artificial intelligence does not necessarily entail upgrading today's microscopic machinations of wire and silicon. Simply downgrade humanity. Take away the essence of awareness and what have you got? Nothing. Not a single spark of imagination. We'd just tramp through our existence, stepping on the splinters of Shakespeare and Mozart."

The wine glass found a place atop yellowed newspapers, and she moved to close the drapes; but not before she leaned across the table, to kiss his cheek.

He stared ahead, unblinking.

The light fought and lost, being barricaded behind heavy cloth liberally coated with dust and particles of dead flowers. Shadows moved in, and she moved to wrap her arms around him from behind.

A gentle brush of her lips met his forehead, precariously close to the oozing bulletwound that pierced skin and skull alike.

"Insanity, my dear, is relative."

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