Just dropping in:

I was working when I first met him, the first test apparently, not a great distance to travel. Three men in lab coats and gas masks opened the doors to the shop, no one told them that we weren't open. And then two held the door open and one carefully positioned himself in front of the opening.

Of course it made no sense. We all stopped what we were doing to stare at them, as most people would have. The man who had actually entered looked at his watch for about twenty seconds and then braced himself as if for an impact.

And an impact is what he got. Barely a moment later and a man hurtled right into him, he just flew in through the door, totally naked. "Phone," the naked man said, one of the men on the door handed him a phone.

He glanced at the screen then held it up to his ear. "I'm reasonably sure I am still alive," he said into the phone, "and as such I would like to request that you work on the clothes."

There was a pause while the phone talked to him, or, more likely, someone on the other end talked to him.

"I know that the propulsion is a bigger issue," he said, "but I would really prefer to have clothes."

The other man at the door took off his lab coat and hung it on the naked man's shoulders. "Maybe we should plan ahead for this next time, and bring some clothes," is what I'm fairly sure the catcher said, though it was a little hard to tell through the gas mask.

The man who had given his coat just shrugged.

"Whatever," the man on the phone said after listening for a long time. Then he gave the phone back, did up the coat, and left, the men in gas masks followed.

No one at my work ever talked about that, and I never told anyone, it wasn't really something to tell people, it doesn't sound true. But I met him again, a long time later, about nine years. Or, more accurately, I actually met him a long time later.

I was at an airport, which was interesting, I wasn't intending to fly anywhere, nor did I have any business there really. My girlfriend had called and asked if I wanted to go anywhere, I had said yes and then hung up and come here.

I was at the airport because I had no reason to be and so she wouldn't look for me there, and because I felt like watching planes. Both of those were bad reasons, she looked everywhere, and I mean everywhere, for me. And I hate aeroplanes.

Don't get me wrong, and good luck getting me right, I don't mind travelling in aeroplanes, I just hate them, I really do. But, despite all this, I was at the airport, watching aeroplanes when a man wearing a lab coat and a gas mask tapped me on the shoulder.

Of course I found out what he was wearing after I turned, but that is what he was wearing. "Excuse me sir, could you please step away from the window?" he said, I'm sure he would have sounded polite if not for the mask, but given the mask he just sounded commanding, or looked it.

I stepped away from the window only because I remembered the outfit from nine years ago. A naked man sailing into your workplace is hard to forget. I moved about five metres away and watched the window. The man in the mask stood about a metre from the window and braced himself for the impact.

The window shattered as the man came hurtling through, the same man as the first time, but this time wearing clothes. He didn't seem to be injured, despite being hurtled through a safety glass window.

"Phone," he said to the man who caught him.

The man handed him a phone, again no one did anything, we all just watched.

The man held the phone up to his ear. "I'm pretty sure I wasn't wearing underwear before I left, so I have all my clothes, still no electronics, but feel free to try to get the accuracy up and maybe the velocity down."

There was the sound of shouting from the other end of the phone. The man who had come through the window handed the phone back to the man in the mask and looked around. The man in the mask hung up the phone without a word and walked away.

The man who had come in through the window seemed to notice me and walked right up to me, he was really damn tall, and pretty good looking. "I feel like I've seen you before," he said.

"You once turned up in my workplace naked," I told him, no reason to lie, and no coherent thought to lie either. "It was a bit weird."

"That was the first test, I wouldn't think I would remember that far back," he said. Then he left.

My girlfriend found me in the end, after I sat there for about three hours, watching them fix the window, the planes were so loud and I hated them, but I didn't want to leave.

And now I feel like I will meet him again, four years later. It is my birthday and no one came, because I told them all not to, I liked having people around me, but a birthday is not something I wish to share. Sometimes when I think I just go in circles, but on this I managed to work it out far enough to tell everyone I was too sick to do anything, so just do something without me while I slept.

I hate circles and I know that that is why my thoughts conform to them. There are many things I hate, too many things, I don't like it. But hating makes no difference, I have to put up with them, and sometimes when I do, things go well.

But mostly they don't and I just hate, and the hate does nothing, makes no difference, but then there are times when it does make a difference. But the circles are something that hate makes no difference to.

But there are some things... shut up. Just shut up.

I turn over in bed and stare at the ceiling, at least it isn't leaking on me anymore, but the marks are there. I really hate those marks, but I cannot fix them, I have no money. No job, no friends. But not having people around is nice.

I sit up, I have been here for a while, I remember that.

What am I doing?

Shut up.

I get up and go to the fridge, empty, the cupboards, I cannot eat the plates. But I kind of want to, I stand there and consider eating the plates for quite a while before giving up. I sit down on my couch and stare up at the ceiling; I might as well not have gotten up. But I did.

I have no power, no money to get power, and nothing to do.

I really hate this place, I hate the pictures I drew on the walls and I hate the pictures that the rain drew on the ceiling. I get up and put on a shirt. I go outside, I don't even bother closing the door, if anything got stolen it would mean I got some money from insurance.

I walk down the stairs, I don't like lifts. It seems to me that if you want to make a tall building you should at least walk up it yourself. But that is stupid. Sometimes I hate what goes through my head, sometimes I... shut up!

I make it downstairs without giving up and go out. There is no one out this early, not really.

But of course I cannot do it, I can't do it, all I can do is go back. I sit back down on my couch and pull off my shirt. I like clothes like I like people... debatably. I can do nothing but stare at my ceiling and count my ribs.

I don't know how many ribs I should have, but I know that I have twenty four. I like knowing things, and I like not knowing things. It is not the power of knowledge that I enjoy, but it is just the knowing of something. And not knowing something is the same as knowing something in that regard, if you know that you don't know something, it is knowledge.

I have no drive to find out what it is that I don't know, I just want to know that I don't know it.

The circles are maddening, I hate them so much, but they won't go away. Maybe the circles are mad, maybe that is why they won't go away, because they reflect me. Shut up.

"Hello?" a voice calls from the kitchen. I get up to look.

I know that I have heard this voice before, but the placing of it is causing me difficulty.

"Hello," he says when he sees me.

"No," I what I say in return, and I leave the room again.

"You don't look so good, friend," he says, following me into the living room.

Shut up, shut up. "I know," I tell him, sitting again.

"I'd suggest you see someone but you don't want me to," he says, standing the living room. His head almost touches the ceiling, I don't like it.

Shut up!

"Why are you here?" I ask him, I don't care how.

"Not sure," he replies, and immediately I like him, someone who doesn't know something.

I stare up at the ceiling, willing it to go away. Shut up.

"I would offer you something, but the best I can do is a plate or something similar," I tell him.

"Thank you for the thought, but I cannot," he says. "Can I borrow a phone?"

"Yes, but not from me," I tell him.

"You have very little in this world of yours," he comments, looking at the drawings on the walls.

I hate them.

"I will come back," he says, "I am getting a phone."

I shrug, but it remains unclear to me whether or not I care.

I sit and stare at my world for a long time before he comes back. "Apparently this is where I am meant to be," he tells me. "I have to wait here for a while."

Shut up, shut up!

The thoughts won't stop when I tell them too, why won't they stop?

I say nothing because I have nothing to say, everything inside my head should be kept there at all cost. Sometimes I feel like if the world just drained away I wouldn't go with it, I would have to stay here and face myself.

Shut up!

"You do not seem so good, friend," he says, crouching in front of me.

I look at him, away from the ceiling. He looks the same as the last time I say him, almost exactly.

"How long ago did we last meet?" I ask him.

"Four years, two months, one weeks and eight days," he says, without checking any kind of reference. "I don't want to be anymore exact, it hurts my head."

"That is more than exact enough," I tell him.

Broken glass is so pretty, the way it faces every different which way. Shut up!

What now? Why so angry?

The voices all come at once when they come, they are all my voice, but that helps not at all. I hate the voices, like I hate so much.

Just shut up.


He is looking at me, and I cannot meet his gaze, I don't know how. "Maybe I should tell you to see someone," he says, not like he is telling me, just like maybe he should.

"If I could afford anything it would be to fix the ceiling," I tell him.

He looks up at the ceiling and I regret saying anything. I hate that ceiling so much.

"I think that maybe your world needs a change," he says, "maybe you need to go somewhere else."

"I know that," I tell him. "But I find myself unable to change my world, or to go far from it."

"I used to feel that way," he says, looking back at me, "but for completely different reasons."

"The way you come and go," I start, "I think that you have the opposite problem to me."

"I think I had the same problem as you," he says, "but my solution was a bit too much."

"A solution that takes you everywhere," I say, and then the circles come back.

The hate doesn't help, why do I maintain it? Why do I think this? Does this help? Why wouldn't I hate? Where does it get me to not hate?


Just shut up.

My hands over my ears and I can only hear myself.

I don't want to hear myself.

He puts his hands over mine and suddenly I can hear nothing.

That is what I want to hear.

I breathe in as deep as I can and hold it for a long time.

"Thank you," I can hear myself through his hands when I talk.

He removes his hands and so do I.

"Deal with yourself," he instructs me, and leaves.

I cannot.

I don't know how. I don't want to. I cannot.

I get up and go into the kitchen, I find a pencil and start drawing on the wall. I don't know why I draw on the walls, they are too plain maybe, but they are not. I don't know and to be honest I don't care to know, some things I am happy to just do.

I don't even know what it is that I draw here, but when I am done, I know that I will feel better.