He is tapping on the wall, creating some sound, any sound. Otherwise, he is seated in complete silence, in a wooden room. He sits on a couch, and in front of him is a coffee table, on which is an empty glass. There is a bookshelf a few feet away to his left, and across the coffee table is a chair. The chair, and the books, and the glass, and the table, and the floor, and the walls, are covered by a thin layer of dust. His face is wan and drawn into itself. He turns to the chair, still tapping on the wall to his right.

"How long has it been now, can you guess? Six days, three hours, and I stopped counting minutes. It's too much work. Should stop counting hours too. Haven't yet, so that I don't completely lose track. Time is an anchor, you see. A good one, at that.” He nods at the chair, and waits a few minutes for it to answer. Then he nods again.

“Of course an anchor is important! Why do you think we are here? We are here to THINK and to TALK!” He shouts this as loud as he possibly can. “Can thought coincide with insanity? Yes. But we are six days in. Just six. Insanity is for later.” He taps slightly faster.

“Later!” He slows his tapping back down.

“I'm sorry. I shouldn't shout. It doesn't help me, and it certainly doesn't help you.” He extends his hand to the chair, mimes shaking, and then pulls his hand back. “I just want to have a conversation. I've said that, yes? I want to talk.” He waits for a response. He nods.

“I mean, what is life but one phase? A period in which our souls inhabit human bodies, a brief stop on earth. I know there is much more. I envy you, really. You know things I cannot possibly imagine. But I've said that, too.” He stops tapping. “Why should I look for an anchor? I've had six days of anchors, six days of sitting on the edge of sanity. Why should I hang on, so damn desperate? There's no point. It's all a part of me. Sanity, insanity.

“Time is fluid. Should be, at least. What a great thing, time is. Why should we humans chain it?” Turns back to the chair, then starts, shocked. “I forgot you were there! I'm so sorry.”

He sits all the way up, clasps his hands in his lap, and leans forward, resting the full of his gaze on the chair across from him. “I'm all ears.” He sits there, staring, listening.

After he finishes listening, he slumps back into the couch. “Imagine, one day, I will tell your story.” He mimes holding a microphone. “In my house, in the very room in which I write, a man of eighty-six died. He was alone when it happened. He died of age, of life.” Looks to the “audience” sympathetically. “And when I found this out, I knew I HAD to talk to him.” He turns his attention back to the chair. “Too much? No?” He shakes his head. “Of course not. Your tale, is an epic. It requires a worthy introduction. Perhaps it should even be more so.” He resumes tapping.

“It gets so damn quiet in here. So quiet.

“They say that after going five days without sleep, you are legally insane. They say you start hallucinating. I want to hallucinate. Perhaps if I could hallucinate, I could see you. So much of a conversation is the visual aspect. Right now, talking to you is just so... Not impersonal, it's personal... Disconnected, it's so disconnected.” He lies down, completely prone, on the couch.

He keeps his head facing the chair.

"They won't believe me, of course they won't. Maybe they'll think it's a metaphor, maybe they'll think it's a fiction, but none of them will know you. It's a shame, you’re such an interesting guy.” He shakes his head. “A shame. But at least I will know. That should be all that matters. The physical, as I've been saying, is just a stage. It feels like everything, but I suppose that's appropriate, too. Otherwise, we wouldn't give it so much of US, and what would be the point? It feels like everything, because, in a way it is. I will never have this body, this name, this species, this world, ever again.” He shakes his head again. “Neither will you.”

He stops tapping, stands, and walks behind the chair, then bends down and knocks on the floor. “They tell me your bed was here. That this exact spot, give or take a few inches, is where you died. This is where you left the physical behind.” He paces, then returns to the couch.

“Incredible. Just incredible.” He lies back down. “Inside of this room, planes of existence intersected. What a thing.”

He gets up again, pauses, picks up the glass on the table, and hurls it at the wall behind the chair. It shatters. “Physical. It's all physical. That glass broke into pieces. Now it's not in the same shape. I changed its shape. Does its shape matter? Does its shape have any meaning beyond the physical? If not, then why should I care what shape it’s in?” He runs over to the bookshelf, grabs a book, and rips it up. Another one. Then another. He scatters the paper, the binding, the cover. He then sits down, and resumes tapping.

He is now looking not at the chair but at the wall. “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to blow up.”

He stares intently at the wall to his right. “I don't know. I don't even believe what I just said. But it felt right to say, to do. And if you asked me what the difference was between the broken glass and the whole glass, I don't think I could tell you.”


Huck Shelf