The horizon dropped off into the haze, and he imagined large metallic creatures just on the point of ambiguity, where their existence was just as likely as unlikely. The sun burned hot on the side of his neck and he felt a bit ill, an icky feeling pulsing through his entire body, limbs and all. He swallowed, and again, and found it difficult to reply to her questions. She was difficult in general though, and he turned his head slightly to scrutinize her fervoutly. The way she held her head; the set of her mouth. The way she sounded when she ate, he couldn’t understand why it disgusted him so. Why her presence revolted him and why he had to physically shy away from her touch.

And then there were the machines, monstrous and roaring and glorious and he loved how they made him feel. He put his hand on the pane of glass and pressed his palm flat against the windows. He imagined himself there in the expanses of land, not necessarily standing on the fields and in between the hills, but actually in it, a part of it. Either he would grow massive and roar and maybe then he would be big enough to contain these feelings, big enough to be in that place, to feel real, or he would be a part of it by disintegrating, to become tiny pieces and then soak into this land, everywhere, unextractable. He wanted it so much, that it wasn’t enough to just be there, he needed to be in it. Integrated and disintegrated. Broken apart to be whole. It’s very possible that this is the closest he’ll ever feel to being in love. Then he thought about Frank and how much he loved him, and hated himself for not being the type of person that Frank would ever want. He knew an expression of his love would be met with a dour turn of the mouth and disgust or pity.

Again he thought of the machines and longed to return to them, to stand amongst them and feel to be their equal, and with their roars and gears and flames and combustion drown out all the sounds, all the endless loops and repetitions of thoughts, the scream of metal like a soothing breeze, the August chaos of behemoth devices with purposes he longed to know displaying fantastically in front of them. He didn’t need to be anything for them. He didn’t need to say the right things or be so pricky-pear aware of all the wrong things about how he moved and where he looked. It was not like being alone and it was not like being uncomfortable with people where he had to say I’m sorry I won’t be enough for you.

And he felt like this was going to be another waste of a day, another waiting room kind of day when you don’t actually have to be there at all. And he looked at his father and realized that this was his life. And he could not save that aging man.