James is what’s called a knife house. He’s got three stuck in his back already, and more are coming. The wandering knives hidden in cowboy boots and glove compartments, the knives left on counters, wet and lonely in sinks, they find him, they plunge, they pick their favorite room inside him and stick their posters on the walls. The men and women James might have loved dip their handkerchiefs in his blood as he passes by. They’ll tie these red notes about their wrists before they fuck, a ward to keep from having any little knife houses of their own. The knives jut from his back like hackles and the children throw stones to hear them ping off the hilts and pommels. There’s no peace for a knife house. It’s because he was betrayed in another life, people say, and now his spirit can’t rest. Or it’s because he betrayed someone else; the backstabber doomed to be eternally backstabbed. The knives don’t care about any of this. Knives don’t worry about revenges or ghosts or sin. Knives understand: it isn’t about what you find inside, it’s about the horrible glory of being opened up.