He says 13:00 hrs. He follows me around like a sick dog. He's worried for it to end. I wonder when it will. Ten minutes have passed since the last time I asked. He tells me to be quiet. It's none of my business. In the distance there is a cat moaning. I wonder if he can hear it. If he heard it he'd start screaming. Screaming. Yelling. The cat is miles away and he screams for it to be quiet. He cannot hear it. I wonder when it will stop. He says 13:00 hrs. I do not believe him. He follows me around like a child. Where are you going? What's that? Why? Always why? There is no end to him. There is one end to him. He does not see it coming. In the distance an alarm is sounding. He does not hear it. If he did he would scream. Yell. He would tell it to be quiet. Knock it off. Shut it. He plays a French horn in the basement. I can hear him through the floor. At 10:00 hrs I ask him. He says no. How can people be so bothered by the aesthetic? So bothered they abandon it? So bothered they don't see it? I ask at 10:30 hrs and he screams. When will there be enough? He pours a glass of milk and gulps it down. He pours another and spills some on his boots. He is afraid they are dirty. He is sure there is too much milk. He has plenty. Clean with it. I ask him at 10:45 hrs and he throws milk on my face. He tells me to drink it. Drink what falls. Save as much as possible. There isn't enough. Don't waste it. He thinks that I am useless and dumb. It is important he thinks I am useless and dumb. If he didn't he wouldn't answer my questions. How much longer? I just told you! Can't you keep track of anything? Two hours. He says. Yesterday morning he promised me today at 13:00 hrs. I reminded him of this today. He said whoa looks like someone's got a brain! Now he follows me. Stays so close. Too close. I don't know what he thinks he'll gain. I think it is getting to him. I hear him in the basement play Strauss on his French horn. Yesterday I took one screw off. It's loose now. Loose enough to pull one hand out and loosen the screw on the other. If it reaches 13:00 hrs and he does not let me go. If he changes the time. Then this is my escape. I will pull my hands out and run. Run when he is in the basement playing Strauss. Or in the kitchen screaming at cats. Or in the bathroom howling for it. For what? For all of it to quiet down. He is unsure who he is. That is why he stays close. He says this in his sleep. He does not know he talks. He thinks he is only sleeping. But he is screaming. Yelling. He is telling me all I need to know. He comes back up from the basement. Tells me he's missed me. He curls up at my feet and says he is taking a nap. I ask him how much longer. He says soon. It'll be soon. He falls asleep at my feet. I stare at him and study. His hair is thinning. His face is oily. Blocked pores and bulging sores. His shirt is worn at the cuffs and collar and torn under the arm. I think he is a boy. Just a boy. I think he is frightened. I wonder if he saw the screw. If he noticed it's a free hand stroking his hair. And if it matters. Does he care? Do I? And what's one more day? Staying would mean something to him. To me. But what? He will sleep and I will stare and in the morning I will ask him how much longer and he will say 13:00 hrs and I will say OK. And it'll go on and he will go to the basement to play Strauss on his French horn and I will wait and listen and think of escape until he comes up the basement steps and he is sweaty and confused and I can ask him how much longer to give him purpose so he can yell and feel something and we can go on existing for each other.