ezra caton has watched two men die in his life. that can take a toll on someone.
the first time, he’s a kid. he doesn’t understand the weight of death, the burden that it leaves for years and years and years. he doesn’t cry, because he doesn’t know why he should, but his heart is heavy. like it’s been filled with lead.
ezra thinks back to that night a lot. it was cold, but the fire left him sweating. it was dark, but all he could see were flames.
something about ezra urges him to lie all the time. he doesn’t know why, but he listens. it’s a gut feeling. like when he tells rosemary, “you look lovely today,” or “i’m fine,” or “i have a prior engagement.”
or, “i’m sorry.”
because he’s not sorry. he doesn’t have any of that empathy left. he can’t figure out where it went.
the second time he watches a man die, he has a split second to do something about it. there’s time when clio raises the gun where he watches her lift her arm and he watches her finger weigh down on the trigger, and he could do something about it, but he doesn’t. he doesn’t have the will to. he doesn’t know the logistics of the relationship between clio and this man -- her father -- and he never could. so he doesn’t try to stop her, and he doesn’t flinch when she fires the gun.
the thing is, he doesn’t even feel bad about it. he hasn’t felt bad about anything in years. and he wishes he could. he wishes more than anything that he could feel something -- he resigned himself to a life with rosemary, but being with clio was the closest he’s come to the rush of adrenaline he got from watching a man burn.
ezra caton realizes that he should probably do something about this, but instead he sits back and he burns notes to the first man he watched die before he could realize what was happening, and rosemary tries to reconnect with him after clio disappears, but ezra knows what’s done is done and it’s best just left at that.
ezra apologizes to rosemary, not because he feels bad, and not because he wants her to feel better, but because he feels something when he lies to her face like that. something in his chest, or in his stomach, that makes him not feel so empty.
he doesn’t contemplate decisions. he doesn’t dream anymore. he doesn’t believe in god, but he keeps up the act like his life depends on it. change won’t do him any good at this point.
ezra doesn’t see clio again, but her presence lingers, her ideas linger, her gunshot lingers.