“When I bring up his father, he becomes very upset and says he is nothing like his father and goes home to drink, which makes him very much like his father.”
He snapped awake in the frigid night, chest heaving. Moonlight poured through the window into his small room, splashing silver light on his narrow bed, the bottle of rum on a single chair, jacket on the coat hanger. His breath steamed cold blue picture-scenes and in all of them he died. He shivered. “I’ve been in the reality game too long. I need a vacation,” he muttered and turned in bed, throwing the blanket over his shoulders.
“Poor chap. Got his head in the sand. Liable to rip it out, if he tried, and he’d be running ’round like a headless chicken.”
“He’s been through enough. He’s been—well, is—everybody. I wish we could cut him a break.”
“Discovered morality, haven’t you? You and your fads. Besides, he’s been broken. He can’t change anything.”
“Remember it’s also yourself you’re talking about.”
This time the Time Traveller woke to the sepulchral fog that flooded the countryside to drown the town square, and from his window he watched a cat on a ledge paw the condensation. The fog swirled and eddied: he could empathize. The moon, a grinning half dollar, lay low in the sky. In the silver scene he pulled his jeans on, slipped into a shirt, took his jacket, and went out of the door.
On second thought he came back for the rum.