His crumpled bat skeleton arms criss-cross before him, his hands hang limp, his finger extends expressively, his matted hair flops in front of his face, and I hand him an origami box because he is falling backwards two steps, I've taken a step and a jump forward, and when he gave me a note in his scrawling handwriting to put in my box of sadness, I was revolted. He has since skipped a step, like me. I found out through a common friend, while we were all subject to a common enemy. Her arms have gems hidden beneath the skin and she excavates them and when I try to empathize I fall flat, because I lack the emotional capacity to reach that. From normality we are seen as absentees but in reality we are busy seeing colors the human eye can't see and trying to navigate through fog with no foreseeable beginning or end, all while our occipital world lies under scrutiny. Oddness is often palpable in the air, and there are degrees and breeds of insanity, and he lifted his crumpled bat skeleton arms and rolled his eyes up into his head and waved his body in spasms, imitating the poor girl with whom he chose not to share empathy. He looked more like his deranged self than an insane girl, and I laughed along with them— it’s their only way to cope, I said. When he was a zero, he asked me to hold his hand for comfort, and I refused out of discomfort, but maybe I should have put my own feelings aside for the sake of his, and extended my hand to lie beneath his spidery brown fingers. He gobbled plastic-wrapped pound cake, but that didn't save him from his fingers convulsing into ideas that were far more bad than good. I was released, I left with no remorse but with a sense of loss and lostness because that fog had condensed and provided me with solidity, and now I faced the unknown with only marbles and wood to cope. I stood on a frozen lake, thick, crunching snow beneath my feet, and could only think of how this open space was lacking palpable oddness in the air, how it would benefit from a bit of occipital scrutiny, how I had benefited from a thick wrapping of gauze round my head and now had a universe in front of me to explore with only wood and marbles and I am still trying to figure out how to construct a space suit out of wood and marbles. 


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