an old man with sour breath. paces back and forth, slowly, thinking, pulling himself away, letting himself float away from here. he talks slowly, forming each word with his mouth as if it takes a mastery of the small muscles in his face. he talks slowly. about woodworking and ink and his wife. about his life. the things he remembers. the way things were. he does not speak his native tongue around here. his hair is sparse and coarse. grey and black. a dark mole marks his temple. he carries himself with the remnants of a power that seems a straggler from his youth. he knows many things, but time has transformed some of those things, making them unrecognizable. his life has been anything but linear. a thousand thousand miles from home. from his normal. and here he stays. an interruption in a sea of corn fields.