In order to understand Lawley, we must understand where he came from.

Lawley grew in a neighborhood named Dolní Vlkýš in the city of Plzeň, in an orange house that sat low to the ground with age, like it had been washed into a field by a flood. You could see the main city and the moors of the grand synagogue in the distance from the windows. The breeze carried many pheasants, as there were many nests near by. Lawley had a problem with the pheasants; often shoving them in his school bag because he thought they liked it. They didn’t. But Lawley didn’t know.

Lawley is what people call an emotional neoteny. He was a wanderer, like a shooting star. He was quiet in the way an intimate object was; silent, yet not unusual. It made more sense for Lawley to not talk than to talk. He never knew his mother’s rabbit farm bred rabbits to eat. He thought for a long time that they had been sold as pets; sold in produce boxes like they had sold kittens sometimes. You can imagine how much this discovery had disturbed him. Every morning since 1983, the year Lawley learned to walk, he had given them a bowl of warm cider and pounds of orchard grass and sometimes bits of rich kolache crust.

He felt everywhere he went, he was being watched from the trees. Sometimes it felt like the seed scales of pinecones in the trees were eyes. He never figured out why he felt watched, often getting sudden flashes of heat in the face and chest and a nervous muscle tension in the night as he laid in his bed near the window. For a long time he thought it was some rheumatoid disease, but whatever was watching him; or causing him to feel watched, was much more distinct and individual than the weather.

Lawley's wallpaper. It can be seen from outside the house. He didn't get his own room until he was 11.

Lawley lived with nobody else but his mother, his mother's mother, and 20-26 tan rabbits at a time. His mother's mother, who he was forbiden from calling his babička, Lá'da Hweizada was a very tart woman. It was hard to think that at some point, she had actually cried for milk and suckled from a teat. Sometimes it felt like she was born with a spindly cane and crows feet around her eyes. Lá'da never cared much for Lawley. She never called him her grandson or considered him a family member at all. She claimed he was a wild animal with weird ears and a tail, something she had seen once but never again.

Who could that be?