Lin Page 9
reached towards his window, shimmering and fading with every step the mother and son took into the distance, so close he felt he could touch it, and he was absolutely sure that no matter how many times he would come to this station in the future, he would never encounter such a sight again.


Somehow he does not age. This is more grist for his benefactors, proof of his divinity. Others half-joke, Of course he doesn't age, he's always moving backward in time! But this is not true either; he moves into each new day from the last like anyone else, though to him this is more of a theoretical concept than a physical actuality. Sleep can be difficult at times, especially on those piercing bright days where even a closed blind offers little protection. It is more the heat than the light - it is a

curious compunction humans have, to desire near-tropical temperatures in their tiny little compartments while they shoot this way and that at thousands of miles per hour. Better than the other way, he supposes, for that would suggest refrigeration, cryogenic stasis.

His skin does not fare well under the onslaught of daylight and the desiccated air of jet and train compartments: leathery and cracked in key places, he resembles one who scales mountains or skis for a living. But miraculously (that word again, he is tired of it) the rest of his body is unaffected by this life of movement. Just a stray gray hair or two, a certain downward set to his chin, as if being beckoned by gravity. His appetite remains healthy, his weight remains at a very respectable proportion to his height (except at that particular island nation where everyone aspires to ramrod-thin proportions, and he is in the "yellow zone" for fat ratio), his teeth are discolored