He woke up one morning, from fitful sleep, to discover he was now an average-sized human. It all felt a bit unreal at first, and he wasn’t really interested in getting up. He was aware of the vast space around him, and a vague loneliness engulfed him. But then, seized by the energy of the day, he swung his legs over the bed and discovered they functioned quite well for the purpose: one quick shake and they were over the side of the bed, and then the feet provided an adequate base for his wobbly body on the floor.
Though there was an emptiness around him, more immediately most of his outside was covered with a cloth that hung from his shoulders and around his arms. Another cloth was attached via elastic around his waist, and coming down such that they surrounded each leg loosely. As soon as he thought about these cloths, he began to itch slightly. The vast space was tempered by the awareness of his mother and sister, who were in various other rooms of his apartment. He now sensed his own hunger but on hearing them call out to him he responded. He found he could form his vocalizations into discrete packets that carried special weight.
“You’re late for work, Greg. Is everything OK?”
He found he could say things that described states that weren’t the case immediately where he was. Apparently these discrete packets had a lot of elasticity about them.
Even though he felt the distance between himself and his family, he also got the sense of wanting a distance of time from them, while he sorted out the present situation. It was true his body more or less functioned to get him away from any threats. He wasn’t aware of any threats but then it was -what was it – Thursday. He wasn’t sure why this mattered. Food was not in the vicinity but there was a sense that food was in another room adjacent, though he didn’t know quite why, as he couldn’t smell it.
He used his feet to get near the wall, and then reached out a hand to hold a doorknob. He pulled the doorknob toward him and it was attached to a door, much bigger than the doorknob. He made his way to the adjacent room. All of the food was in boxes and some was in a large white box. Through a variety of maneuverings of his hands he was able to get the food into his mouth. His mouth worked the usual magic on the pieces and before long he was in a state of having eaten.
“Oh, there you are, Greg. Mom was worried about you.”
“Uh huh. I’m fine.”
“Are you going in today?”
“Yep, just getting ready.”
He worked at an accountancy firm three towns he was over. There was a woman named Sally there and also a man named Drew who he didn’t like. He was a little hazy how he knew this.
“Well, I suppose you better get dressed then.”
This reminded him – to “remind” is to return to an area of thought, and yet he couldn’t place where the first area was – that he was supposed to take off this current fabrics, and put on another set of fabrics. Using his legs, he went into a room with a different floor. He immediately felt the solidness of the floor beneath his feet. He took off his fabrics and felt a sense of relief. His skin still felt not quite right, as there were walls all around him preventing the wind from travelling anywhere near him. He stepped into another little room, turned the handle and created a instant, massive rainfall. Even though he had some reminder that this would happen, the rainfall still shocked him a bit, and he moved his arms in the way to try to mitigate the flow. There was a square of fat on the shelf, which he rubbed on his body. It smelled sweetly and exfoliated his skin. The rain washed it off.
He turned off the rain, even though it had become very pleasant now that he was used to it. He was about to walk out of the room to get the other fabrics. But as he put his hand on the knob, he had a strong sense that this was wrong, and he was supposed to put yet a different fabric on him first. Hanging from another rail was a square of fabric. He first rubbed this fabric on all of his body, until it had soaked up a largish portion of the water. Then he put this still-wet fabric around his hips; he had to cinch it on one end and he still had the feeling that it might come off as he walked, and he would have to pick it up again. For some reason this troubled him.
He walked into his room and then let the square fabric fall to the ground. There was a slight sense of relief as he did this. Then he put on a variety of fabrics, one by one. There were inner fabrics and outer fabrics. Some of the fabrics had buttons that went through holes in the same fabric – this challenged his fingers. There was even his fabric that wrapped around his jugular. He tied this even tighter: not so tight that he couldn’t breathe, but still there was a slight intake of breathe as the fabric closed about him. He grabbed a collection of metal keys, that felt assuredly solid in his hand, and placed them in a pocket in the lower fabric. He did the same with a lump of leather (leather was cow. But they didn’t call it cow) that contained money, which had strong associations for him with food, and shelter, and excitement, and risk. The third thing he placed inside his clothing was a square rectangle that gave him the ability to exchange words with just about any other human being. But he mostly to put brightly-colored squares in a satisfying order.
As he went out of his room, he saw his sister again. As he passed her she said good-bye and in response he raised his hand and shook it this way and that. But this was not done as a warning; in fact it was intended to show her affection.
He went out yet another door – this time to the outside. The fresh air affected him in a violent shift of being; it was like walking out one world and into the next, and he scrambled to adjust all of his various detectors and reactors. But his feet didn’t fail him, and he approached the gigantic metal container – car, of course it was a car.
As his hand opened the car door he experienced, almost unrelated to the feel of the metal on his hand, a wave of emotions and thoughts related to situations he was not currently experiencing. These were mostly about his work. There was a paper – no, not a paper, the image of a paper – that he had not yet emailed to a colleague. He hadn’t been thinking of it, but now that he had, he found it extremely concerning all of a sudden. And several ideas of the same nature occurred to him, cascading off the first like dust particles crumbling after contact with antennae.
He got in, crouched down and sat, and closed the door. This last action, paradoxically, both confined him and gave him a feeling of great safety and assurance. He put a poiece of fabric across his waist and chest, which echoes the same feeling again. He took out the bundle of metal from his pants, found a particular, single piece of metal – a key – put it in a slot that fit the key, twisted his wrist and the car exploded into noise. After the initial roar, there was another noise, which he remembered was the music of another person called David Bowie, and as he pushed his foot down to move himself and the car that carried him he felt a satisfying buzz in the area of his thoughts as well as deeper, in the region of the chest.