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     "How well did you know Mr. Potts?" The policeman's loud voice shook my attention away from the wet shape lying on the black and white tiled floor.
     "Not very well. He teaches---he taught history at George Washington High, where I teach. About three years ago, when my wife told him the apartment above us was vacant, he moved in."
     Looking strangely formal against the white walls of the bathroom, the policeman messed up a number of towels trying to sop the bloody water of the floor. "Have any idea why he'd want to do this?"
     I shivered, teeth on edge, at the glint of the razor on the black rug: my hands clenched involuntarily as I imagined that honed edge sliding through the trembling flesh of my wrists.
     "Poor Clarence SEEMED happy enough." Glancing at the walls covered with book-laden shelves, I saw them suddenly become morbidly lonely.
     "He wasn't married. He read a lot." My mind faltered, trying to think of something else.
     Clarence Potts had always seemed just another old-maidish school teacher. His voice had quavered with the high-pitched nervousness of a man who had never grown out of adolescence, and his hands, oddly pallid, had had the same evasive sliding motions which had characterized his eyes.
     Unkind jokes had convulsed the faculty members at his expense before he would come hurrying into departmental meetings, poking his glasses up from his nose for the thousandth time, grinning agonizedly when he kicked against a chair, and clearing his throat with a painful-sounding little cough. Some of the jokes had ridiculed the purported obstruction in his bony throat.
     "I never thought he'd do anything like this." No, of course not. I couldn't imagine Clarence Potts doing ANYTHING out of the ordinary in a spectacular way.
     The policeman grunted as he scrabbled through the unlocked drawers of the wooden desk. I looked vainly at the overstuffed furniture, the plaid draperies, seeking a reason for this bloody-watered shell which I understood so slightly. A rising chuckle made me turn back to the brass-buttoned blue giant.
     "Why are you going through his desk?"
     "Trying to find next of kin, but I came up with something else."
     Stepping to the opened drawer, my mind filled with the suspicion that Clarence Potts had no living relatives, I gazed unseeingly down at a set of pictures clipped from our school's yearbook.
     Then crudely drawn additions and alterations to the photos jolted my memory back to the jokes at the faculty meetings. The policeman's indignant snort brought fantastically to mind Clarence Potts' moist throat-clearing cough.
     Spread under the bright chrome desk lamp were swimmers' bodies grotesquely outlined beyond the bounds of human form. Wrestlers' trunks were impossibly reconstructed to fit Clarence Potts' warped fantasies.
     As more items were drawn from the drawer, it seemed that fetid fragments of Clarence Potts' inmost soul were being dredged up into the light. Freehand drawings of incredible perversions were mixed with two small packets of yellow envelopes held with rotting rubber bands. I could feel no added surprise when one long letter boasted "All my love, Alex" at the end.
     To my horror, the policeman handed me a clean unstamped envelope with my name typed on the front. I hesitated to touch anything in that obscene apartment.
     "I didn't know he was---" I began, but inside I knew it was a lie: his nervousness when passing the football heroes in their tight cotton khaki trousers had been almost too obvious to ignore. With a quick revulsion I ripped the top of the envelope off, but I could only read the following words before I stopped, gasping:
     "I ask this favor because you are my closest friend."