What is coping? This is what it is like: a cave underground deep in rock, hung across its roof with accretions of dripping salts. I am cavernous and hard as mineral. The cave holds a pool of dark water that has not seen light. The water is very cold; it is undrinkable and its size is unmapped. It is mine, but people cannot see it. Only Ev sometimes senses that it is there. All the time people say that I am coping very well. It is impossible to explain my strategy to them. It is opaque even to me.

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