“This space existed long before you were even born. It started as the centre of someone's home, and after some time it wasn't. And then it was again. And then it was home to small crawling creatures, who were unaware that the low ceilings and nearby railway made it practically uninhabitable. Then there were people who lived there because their parents said it was uninhabitable, and then there were people who thought that was charming, and then there was a man with an accent who was only in the space for a day but whose sharp-bleach smell kept everyone out for years.
This space was always a different space, but to you standing here right now with blood on your hands this space has always been this space. It has always had beige linoleum that wipes clean. It has always had an island in the middle with a stainless steel hob. It has always had cupboards whose contents you do not know. It has always had a knife rack. It has always had a knife missing.
It has always had the dead man lying on the floor. He has always been here. His blood has always been this glossy. His eyes have always been this open. His mouth has always been this scared.
You have always held this knife. You have always felt the curved shape of the handle in the palm of your hand. You have always been aware of the slightly sticky, slightly wet sensation of blood that is not yours between the handle and the palm of your hand.
Except now you are putting down the knife. And if you are putting it down then always does not stretch so far in the future as you thought, and if that is true then it stands to reason that is does not stretch as far back in the past as you thought either. And now you think about it, there was a time when you did not feel the curved shape of the handle slipping and sticking in the blood in the palm of your hand. There was a time when the dead man was not lying on the floor. There was a time when his eyes were not this open and his mouth was not this scared.
There was never a time when his blood was not this glossy.
There was a time when the dead man was standing up. There was a time when the dead man was not here. There was a time when the dead man was not dead.
There was a time when the dead man had a name.
Do you remember it?”