Sunday, January 31, 2010


As he sits there, the big earth volcano thing made of priests growling over him, he is blessed with an oddly calm bit of self-awareness. He can see himself in this situation, and he feels a bit of detachment from it. I am a psychopath, he thinks. I don't feel normal human emotions -- like terror... I compartmentalize... I separate... But that's not it... I'm not a psychopath... I do feel fear, now. I have never not felt fear since I came out of the darkness... But the fear I feel now is like... like an instruction manual... It is here to inform me... It has informed me, and now I am reacting according to its instructions. And reacting to its instructions means that I no longer feel the fear...
The thing formed when he decided to ask a question. He has hit a nerve, evidently. The thing feels defensive. Threatened. Only members of the order can ask a question of the committee? Okay then...
I want to join the order, he says.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


The three priests sit, inanimate and inscrutible as before.
I am done telling stories! he repeats, his voice louder. What the hell's the matter with these weirdos? Listen guys, he says, an acidic anger dissolving the politeness he has hitherto been tending with care given his ignorance of what might actually be threatening him in this bizarre rectory that has promised him sanctuary from who knows what... No more of my answering your questions. Now, I want you to answer mine. First off: What is...
He does not finish his question. In one volcanic motion -- such is the adjective that comes to his mind: volcanic -- the priests explode from their seats and rise before him with the roaring violence of an angry, unsettled earth. They merge, bodies into body. A behemoth stands before him, raging. A voice, the sound of an earthquake, threatens to deafen his ears: SILENCE, HUNTER! MEMBERS OF THE ORDER MAY ALONE ASK QUESTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE!!!
He leans back in his chair, a tad stunned. My goodness...

Friday, January 29, 2010


While expounding upon the sordid tales of Don Napoleon's activities in organized crime, a quite unrelated feeling of dread begins to seep into his mind. He is here for sanctuary. His -- hosts? -- the priests who are giving him sanctuary -- are listening to these stories... He looks down at his plate. There is still a lot of food. He supposes he has been too busy with his stories to eat. But he also remembers eating steak, and now there is some sort of fish. Or is it chicken? The wine glass continues to be full. He takes a sip of wine. A bite of food. He sets his fork down.
I am finished telling stories, he says.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


He continues with the rise of Napoleon the Cat through a recount of the various battles of a glorious campaign. The priests continue to stare. He decides to embellish. Rather than have Napoleon declare himself emperor, he has Napoleon become a leader of organized crime. Perhaps not that much of an embellishment, he thinks. Napoleon, the emperor of France (Chartreux, in cat terms) becoming Don Napoleon of _____? He can't think of a mafia territory that would sound good with Cat as a substitute prefix. It doesn't matter. He doesn't know, for sure, whether the three priests know about the real Napoleon. Who, in the world, doesn't know of Napoleon? And, of course, that's just it: who in the world he comes from? And are we, he wonders mutely, in the world he comes from?
Oh, what the hell. He tells of Don Napoleon's cornering the construction industry through "persuasive" dealings with other "colleagues" in the waste disposal management industry, thus building an empire which, though not in the habit of calling attention to itself, is nevertheless ... not to be ignored...
If the priests object to, or even recognize, the, ah, shifting of historical narrative consistency, their faces remain inscrutable.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


These early battles over, Napoleon began to rise in eminence among the feline ranks. He came to command, and in this command grew bold, though small in stature. He nurtured within his furry breast a vision of a glorious empire of Chartreux with himself as emperor. In his ambition, he mustered forces and waged a furious campaign against each and every other tribe. As a result, he achieved a series of military victories unmatched in Cat-dom even to this day.
One moment, young man, splutters the buzzard, suddenly coming to life. Cat-dom?
Yes, he says. Like King-dom. Like Christen-dom.
Excuse me, continues the buzzard, a-splutter and brow furrowed. But I can hardly see that what you are engaged in is the story of Christendom! You speak of cats!
He speaks of Cat-dom, says Laurence.
Exactly! says the old priest. Now I ask you again, hunter... what is Cat-dom?
It is the story, he says, of the tribes of Napoleon. Napoleon the Cat. Of his glorious rise and ignominious decline. Shall I continue?
Absolutely, say all three priests at once. And with this, they once again become as statues.
Why these three weirdos are so interested in this story, he cannot guess. He has some more food on his plate, however, and has the opportunity to drink lots of free wine. Lots more, that is, he thinks, smiling.
Well then, he says...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Okay, then, he says. Napoleon's tribes consist of a vast array of different kinds of cats from Russian and Prussian Blues to Austrian tabbies. Napoleon, himself, as I have said, was a Chartreux -- a distinguished French breed with vague aristocratic ancestry. Before Napoleon came onto the scene, each of these tribes were separate, and all fought with each other. The tribe to which Napoleon belonged in those days before empire, though small, was remarkably agressive against the other tribes and, as a young kitten, Napoleon was involved in several battles with The Prussian Blues and the Austrian Tabbies and then later with the Russian Blues. These tribes were attempting to stop the foment and advancement of the Chartreux revolution. It was in these battles that Napoleon began to distinguish himself.
He stops. Obviously, some of his education has returned to him. This makes him happy but it also makes him a little wary because he still does not know why he knows what he knows. The knowledge is there, but there is not contextual cohesion that he can define with certainty as "his life."
He looks at the priests. They continue to stare at him. He wonders if there is a Frenchman among the three. It would truly be unfortunate were they Russian, Prussian and Austrian.
He continues his story of feline revolution.

Monday, January 25, 2010


He stops speaking and looks at the three priests. They may as well be statues. They do not move. They say nothing. They regard him with severe stares that radiate from eyes that are carved from wood. He decides to wait them out. He waits for many minutes. He continues to wait; they continue to watch him, inanimately. He remembers how they had waited for him to respond, previously. They wait until their question is answered. He is telling them about a cat whose existence he believes he is making up. And their stares shake him from his narrative thrust. He could move. He could get up and leave this place. He knows this, but he finds that he does not want to move. He wants to tell them about the cat. But he cannot think of anything further to tell them. So, he concludes his story of the cat, Napoleon, rather lamely. Napoleon lived to be eighteen years old before he died, peacefully in his sleep. The stares continue. The end, he says. The mouth of the buzzard priest moves enough to speak. No, says the mouth. Tell us about the tribes of Napoleon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Well, hunter began, not too long ago, I had a cat named Napoleon. Napoleon was a big Chartreux who weighed about twenty pounds. I named him Napoleon because when we first got him, he was the smallest kitten we had ever seen. But he had a ferocious, conquering attitude. I found him underneath the front porch of an apartment where I was living at the time. He had been left there, presumably because he was the runt of the litter. He was a feral cat, and I think he was part of a large tribe of cats that roamed the neighborhood. Napoleon was never quite tamed. He grew enormous, as I say. Although I tried to keep him from going outdoors, he always found ways to get out of the house. Every now and again, I would look out a window, and he would be out there there with some other cat from the neighborhood. I figured a member of the tribal family -- a relative of some sort that was checking in on him.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The content of their discussion, however, is rather nonsensical -- or so it appears to him. They ask him if he has ever had a dog. His memory, however, is not sufficient to answer this question. As yet, the only memories he has of what might have been his previous life before the darkness are of the house and the girl.
I don't know.
You don't know if you've ever had a dog? asks the buzzard.
Have you ever had a cat? I had a cat once. Laurence, here [pointing to the first priest he had seen at the church] hates cats, don't you Laurence?
I never said I hated cats, says Laurence. I said I was allergic to them.
Same thing, dear child.
I had a guinea pig as a child, says Laurence. I was quite fond of him. Boethius, I named it. Alas, however, he was not to be. My father decapitated him with a pair of hedge clippers.
Guinea pigs are a delicacy in Mexico, says the third priest. I had the pleasure of eating one, once.
The two other priests regard the third one with looks of abject horror.
I had a cat once, he says.
You had a cat, once, hunter?
He is startled at the utter change in the demeanor of the priests from jolly and rather silly to completely serious and inquisitorial.
Tell us everything about the cat you say you once had, hunter.
He starts to laugh but checks himself. The priests are looking at him as though they await an answer to the most grave question concerning matters of state.

Friday, January 22, 2010


They all go into another room -- a recreational room with a pool table, a number of stuffed leather chairs, a humidor, a bar with a stock of fine spirits on display, and tables for dining and card playing. The buzzard priest waves his hand across the room and says, simply, that they are for hunter's leisure.
Thank you, he says. He pauses. I hope I'm not being rude... This is all wonderful... but... could I have something to eat?
Oh! says the buzzard with an obvious red flush of embarrassment. Of course you may! Of course you may! Come -- let us all sit! He directs him to a table, and they all sit. Immediately, a servant appears from behind a curtain at the edge of the room. We will eat now, says the elder priest. And... he continues with a bubbling chuckle and a wink, Bring us in some ice water and some wine such that we may sup -- such that we may [chuckle, wink] commune, if you will -- with our guest!
The servant disappears behind the curtain. A moment or two passes, the food and drink arrives, the buzzard priest blesses the meal, and they begin to eat. He tries his best not to bolt down his food, but it is difficult. He is famished. Yet the priests insist, as he supposes is their right, to draw him into conversation. And he supposes it is his obligation, as guest of sanctuary, to respond.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Hunter. Although he had not known that this word would be used, he is not surprised to hear it. Hunter fits. Nor does he need to consider the question of the priest.
I want sancuary, he says.
And then something else pops into his mind.
He tells the three priests: I have been to the library. The Magnificence sends me forth. I have seen the girl.
Such words. Who talks like this? he wonders.
The middle priest, a wizened, old man with a nose like a buzzard's beak, leans backward, slightly, in his chair.
We will give you sanctuary.
After the priest tells him this, there is an uncomfortable silence that lasts almost long enough to be comical.
I am hungry, and I am thirsty, he says.
Immediately, all three priests smile at him. Their manner is changed utterly. Why then, you will eat and you will drink! Says the priest he had met first. We could play cards! says the second priest. Tell me, says the old priest, do you play Whist?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The rectory is lavishly decorated. There are busts on pedestals along the wall of the hallway -- of various famed religious figures, he guesses. A cleaning woman, who is busy dusting them, stops momentarily and bows her head when she sees the priest. The priest gives no indication that he has seen her. The priest takes him into a large room. A board room, from the looks of it. Large rectangular table to seat a dozen or more.
The priest points to a chair midway down the the table. Sit, says the priest. I will be with you in a moment.
He sits. The priest leaves the room. He waits a good while. The priest returns accompanied by two other priests, one of whom he has already seen in the church. They sit, side by side, directly across from him.
What have you to tell us, hunter? says the middle priest whom he has not seen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Two priests come into the church through a side door. They genuflect and attend to some items on the altar. They walk down the center aisle of the church and pass him without paying him any particular mind. One priest leaves the church while another stays toward the back taking hymnals from a box and putting them in the pews. He decides to stand and approach the priest.
Father, he says. May I talk with you?
The priest looks at him. It is a business look. Not terribly priestly, he thinks.
Confessions are on Saturdays, says the priest.
I don't want to confess anything, he says.
Then, how can I help you?
I'd like to talk with a priest, he says, ad libbing a bit. He doesn't know what people say when they talk to priests, as he has not spoken with many in his life. Maybe at a wedding. As a young child.
I'd like to talk with a priest, he repeats, but I'd rather not talk in the church.
The priest gives him a slightly irritated look. The look then softens. He puts a hymnal in a slot in the back of the pew and looks at him.
Come with me, then, says the priest.
He follows the priest out of the church and into an attached building.

Monday, January 18, 2010


He can tell that she is there, but he cannot see her. The ranch house sits on a comfortable bit of land, and beyond this land is a large expanse of water. He cannot see the opposite shore. Now, he is in the living room of the house. There is a homey feel to it: knit afghans, crocheted pillows, comfortable couch and loveseat. A bay window. By the look of the various wood work about the house, someone is handy with carpentry projects. They say that memories do not include smells, but there is a gentle aroma of cooking meat. Thanksgiving. Or a homecoming. Or some other family event. He remembers football. Not terribly exciting memories, he thinks. And maybe this is the point of these memories. And she is there. He cannot yet see her. The memory ends for the moment, and he opens his eyes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Sanctuary...? From... a threat. Safety... from something. Protection...
The word "Sanctuary" suffuses through his body with even more insistence than does hunger.
He walks up the front steps of the church and pulls open the huge darkwood doors. He enters the building and the word "Sanctuary," though still there, is now a word of relief. A word that speaks of a regrouping. Of time to be spent preparing. He sits in a pew toward the front. He has not been in many churches. He does not relish being in this one. Still, the place is nice. Priests are always well fed, also. Seldom see a fat priest. He sits there. He feels the memories coming back... sliding back over his body. He begins to remember a life reaching back before the darkness. He sits there and lets the memories happen. For the first time, the hungry urgency to go forward ebbs away, although he knows it will come back when the time is right. For now, however, he sits there. And, as he sits there, he begins to remember.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


He considers some possible ways to get food:
Steal it.
Beg for it.
Dig it out of the garbage.
Work for it.
Mug someone for money to buy it.
Mug someone who is eating something and take it from them.
None of these, however, appeal to him. He chastises himself for not wanting to work for food, but he rationalizes that his distaste is due to urgency. Working takes too long, and he is hungry right now.
As he walks into the town square, another option presents itself. A church. A word stamps itself into his brain: Sanctuary.

Friday, January 15, 2010


The path takes him to the central street of the village. The place is depressed and, like everything else he has encountered since coming out of the darkness, the place is, well, out of place. The out-of-place-ness is in keeping with the same infuriating logic of the dreamscape in which he has begun to think himself entrapped. He is sick of dreaming. He is sick, for that matter, of not knowing whether he is dreaming or awake. Okay, he says, It's weird, here. Wherever I am. I get it! He says this too loudly, and the people, a couple of them, look at him. He wants to run up to them and shout googoogoogoogoogoogoogoo!! He refrains from doing so, but it takes effort. And hunger is beginning to pound down upon him. He had thought hunger a nagging voice, but this hunger has a kinetic force. He checks his pockets. He has found a knife and flint -- perhaps the same whatever has provided him with money. No such luck.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


As he follows this ghost of his own memory, he remembers a joke. A joke/puzzle. Why can a bear only go half-way into the woods? Because then he's not going in -- he's coming out. Not the funniest joke, but it fits the current situation. They are coming out of the woods, he and the woman. There is a valley. In the valley, there is a village. He can only follow the woman a little further. She is an intellectualization of his hunger, he thinks. And she is not real. She goes away, but she will come back. The hunger remains. There is a country song in these thoughts, he says to himself. Again, he chuckles. He is in a mood as he enters the village.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The woman. It takes him a moment or two to recognize that the woman who is laughing at him in his memory is the woman he had been pursuing in his dream -- the dream that had led him to his library. He stops dancing. The vision of the mind is every bit as clear as the vision of the eye. He looks at the path; he remembers the woman. Perhaps he was not pursuing her so much as she was leading him. He spends a moment concentrating on the woman he is remembering, and then she is there, on the path. He has decided to let her lead him further.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


He takes to the rude pathway, once again. He walks until he forgets he is walking. His body has attained a rhythm that now supercedes thought. He embraces this rhythm -- allows himself to fall forward into it -- and simply lets the rhythm guide him. He chuckles. Let the rhythm guide you. Do the Funky Chicken. That phrase. To a dance. From his culture. His people. A culture and a people that would make up a dance called the Funky Chicken. This makes him chuckle some more. He likes saying it: Do the Funky Chicken. He imagines what the dance might look like. He dances. He has no idea whether he is actually doing the Funky Chicken or just flinging his arms and legs around. A memory: He is dancing; a woman is laughing.

Monday, January 11, 2010


This time, he does not dream, and when he wakes, he is not disoriented. He is completely refreshed, except for his hunger and his thirst. But it has rained during the night, and water for him to drink has collected in the hollow of a large nearby stone. The wilderness glows in the light of morning, and the fire that he has built at the edge of his shelter still smokes from its embers. He needs food. And then he needs to... to what?... the appropriate verb eludes him... to find? someone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


He walks into the wilderness and continues for what he figures are a few hours. He thinks he remembers things. Survival things, not things about his life or about his situation. He doesn't know whether it is memory or whether it has been put there. It feels like memory; it feels as though he has known it, as though it has been a part of his life, that he has learned these things and simply has not used them for so long that he has forgotten them, and forgotten that he has ever learned them. He knows he has to make or to find a shelter, and he knows how to do so. He locates a rock formation, jutting out from a hill. This will do. He knows he must build a fire, and he knows how to do this, as well: he finds some dry, stringy bark, which he shoves around some larger dry sticks he has gathered. He knows, somehow he has a knife and a stone in his pocket, and he scrapes the knife on the stone over the tinder and wood to produce a spark that then produces the fire. And, most importantly, he will find out that he knows how to hunt and scavage -- slugs, insects, small animals -- and to find water (boiling whatever water he finds in order to make it drinkable). He is both thankful and not a little irritated at the thought that, if he is not remembering the skills, then something -- The Magnificence, likely -- has placed this knowledge, these skills, in his head. Neither thankfulness nor irritation will get him anywhere, however, so he chooses not to dwell on either feeling. Shelter secured, fire started, he lies down, exhausted, and sleeps.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The remembrance of the details of personal history is not a priority when one is immersed in a situation of compelling urgency. This is not to say he doesn't question his present situation. He does, but he is forced to defer their contemplation: Why was he captured? What captured him? Why did he dream? And there are three more fundamental questions he does not yet ask: Where had he come from, through the darkness? Why is The Magnificence urging him forward? And, as his feet find a rude roadway carved into a wilderness that is now forming around him, as though by the permission of The Magnificence, an odd thought: He does not know the directions, but he knows he will get there. Hunger is his map.

Friday, January 8, 2010


It speaks, but it does not speak in words. There are sounds of vibrations, of mechanical workings, and of crowds of voices -- the human/mechanical voices he heard before first he beheld the magnificent structure (and the structure, he realizes, is, indeed, magnificent). None of these sounds create words, however. A phrase bubbles up in his mind: "non-symbolic language." Unusual time to think of such a thing. He knows what the phrase means, too: language without letters or other symbols to interfere with the transmission of information from speaker to listener. It makes perfect sense to him, although the words are not his own. But who among us has his own words? Language -- now symbolic language -- has to be agreed upon or else you get, what? Humpty Dumpty. "I use words to mean what I want them to mean!" And from this kind of language -- a language of your own words, you get nothing. Sounds. But the sounds he is hearing do mean something, and the sounds are not symbolic. They are what they are. The pictures he is seeing are what they are. The Feelings, such as the ones he is... feeling... they are what they are. The thing speaks to him in non-symbolic language. Yes: Anxiety. The girl turning the corner. Hunger. An urging. An urging. An urging forward. His body aches with the desire to go wherever this urging compels him to go. He feels nothing that might be called love, however. Or, if he does, this feeling is deferred -- is stored away in one of his mind's many boxes. He is calling the moving shapes that communicate to him The Magnificence. The Magnificence is urging him. He goes forward, then, not as one hypnotized, but as one whose will has been directed by a visceral clarity unreachable through, or by, language. He goes forward.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


He begins to feel hungry. It is not a hunger for food, however. It is a more pervasive hunger. It increases as he looks at the thing in the volume. It is a hunger that he is, slowly, coming to remember. It is a hunger that awaits definition. He has felt this hunger, before. He thinks of the joy of hunger. Not a joy, so much as an enthusiasm for reaching a state of fulfillment. He loves being hungry. The hunger motivates him, yet he knows not the direction of this motivation. Nor does he care. He wants to consume, to eat, to act, to fulfill. But he does not want to be sated. The hunger wakes him. The dream drips away, the library melts, the book dissolves. The machine-human headed thing remains, and he stands in front of it, no longer bound but intent. He knows it will speak. He waits for it to speak. It speaks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


He has always had this library in his mind, so long as he can remember. He has used it as a haven within his dreams, and he has learned how to transport himself to it when he is awake and in need of calm. He does not always direct himself, consciously, to go to the library. Some times, such as now, his unconscious mind has placed it before him. He knows -- he has faith -- that within the walls of the library as much as within the vast array of its books there is solace for any trouble and an answer (or answers) for any question. He walks over to a nearby shelf -- a shelf that reaches to the height of the ceiling, barely within his sight -- and draws out a volume. He opens it and there before him, on the spread of the volume's pages, is the strange formation of moving/unmoving shapes he had seen just before his capture. He looks at the thing. If he looks at it in a certain way, the shapes, though separate and distinct, form a head. Eyes of a sort. And the eyes look up at him from the pages. Perhaps in recognition.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


He is walking out of the darkness, and he is once again aware of his feet. They are touching the pavement, and she is up ahead of him. He walks toward her, trying to catch up. He knows where he is. He is in that part of the city that his dreams have often presented to him. A city made up of parts of the city and, in a sense, parts of his own memories and desires. Of course, when he has almost caught up with her, when he is within talking distance of her, she turns a corner and is gone, as he knew she would be, because he has become aware, now, that he is dreaming, and he knows, from experience, that this is how dreams work. His dreams, at least. But it's okay that she's lost him because he has come to the library -- the most fantastic library in the world. He runs up the stone stairs, opens the great oak doors, and goes in.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Whatever it is that is binding him is also moving him. He fights the instinct to panic. Involuntarily, he opens his mouth to scream, but he catches himself before a scream actually comes out. Although he has begun to be able to see the environment around himself, he still cannot see his own body -- his hands, his legs, his feet. His feet. They are not touching anything. Since coming into the dark, however long ago, he has been losing awareness of his feet. Increased awareness of everything else -- his elbows, his knees, the itch of his nose -- strange things that are not generally noticed. But the awareness he has of his feet has ebbed away, slowly, imperceptibly. He has taken for granted that they were on a surface, but he has forgotten about them. How can a person forget about his own feet? He remembers them now because nothing is supporting them. He remembers something because something he is remembering is no longer there. No ground. Perhaps he is flying. There is no wind. He becomes weak. He has forgotten whether he has slept recently. He begins sleeping now, although he is not aware of it. Dreams come to him.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Some of the figures are moving, and some are still. Reflective of the ambiguity of the noise he hears, it is unclear whether the figures are machines or living beings. The number of moving figures changes. When he first sees what he is seeing, all but a few of them are moving. As he continues to watch, more and more of them become still until all but a few are motionless. So far as he can see, there is never a time when all of them are moving or when all of them are still. And there is a pattern, perhaps: almost none of the figures is moving, then a short period of time passes before the number begins to increase, and then the number of moving figures increases until nearly all of the figures are once again moving. Then, after a short period of time, the number begins to decrease, and the pattern continues in reverse: almost all moving to almost none moving. Whether the rate of change in the ratio of the number of moving figures to still figures is constant or whether it fluxuates, he cannot as yet perceive. He is, however, unable to examine the matter further, hypnotic though the motion is, because something has captured him, binding him such that he cannot move, cannot escape.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


The noise is ambiguous. It is mechanical, or it is human. Perhaps it is both -- a strange, industrial, cybernetic hybrid. He can't discern whether the human part of the noise -- if there is one -- is full of voices raised in anger and uproar or whether it is a collective voice of celebration. And as for the mechanical portion of the noise -- again, if there is one -- he has no way of knowing whether he is hearing engines that build, that cultivate, or machines that wreck and thus lay waste to that which they touch... whatever unseen material that may be. As he approaches, body directed by the ears, ears directed by the noise, he can, at last, see a gradation in the black mauve. Can see lighter, can see darker. The darker is, he guesses, substance. And as he approaches further, he thinks he can discern a profile of life and movement articulated by the substance. Heartened -- by constructive or destructive forces he doesn't care for the moment -- he continues his approach until he can see, for the first time, something other than shadow. Something he can recognize. Kind of: he can make out the shapes of figures, but he cannot, as yet, tell what those figures are.

Friday, January 1, 2010


It takes a little listening to get beyond the darkness and the silence. There is no geography, no marker as of yet, even to allow for a feeling of disorientation. A memory for color suggests that there is none of that, either, although the closest equivalent would be a blackish mauve whose heaviness oppresses and obliterates everything that might be submerged within it. Since there is still the ability to remember things, to place them in some taped-together form of chronology, and since, apparently, there are still thoughts and impressions to add to this chronology, there is still a progression of time. And there is a comfort to this condition, or whatever it is. Somewhat to his surprise, this feeling of comfort comes to an end when, from the depth of wherever he is, there comes, from a distance, a noise.