Monday, 16 December 2013

His legs wobbled under him

It's happening to me again.
The soft-drink stand fell into bits. Molecules. He saw the molecules,
colorless, without qualities, that made it up. Then he saw through, into the space
beyond it; he saw the hill behind, the trees and sky. He saw the soft-drink stand
go out of existence, along with the counter man, the cash register, the big
dispenser of orange drink, the taps for Coke and root beer, the ice-chests of
bottles, the hot dog broiler, the jars of mustard, the shelves of cones, the row of
heavy round metal lids under which were the different ice creams.
In its place was a slip of paper. He reached out his hand and took hold of
the slip of paper. On it was printing, block letters.
Turning away, he unsteadily walked back, past children playing, past the
benches and the old people. As he walked he put his hand into his coat pocket
and found the metal box he kept there.
He halted, opened the box, looked down at the slips of paper already in it.
Then he added the new one.
Six in all. Six times.
His legs wobbled under him and on his face particles of cold seemed to
form. Ice slid down into his collar, past his green knit tie.
He made his way down the slope, to Junie.

Time out of Joint, Philip K. Dick, 1959

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