He felt, lately, that when addressed he took nothing in. As if the words weren’t aimed at him or had been reflected back at the speaker, like he had parried them with a pose or with his body language. It was difficult to engage in conversation when he felt this way, disconnected from his partner—whoever it was—always looking off to one side, as if seeking an escape. Or perhaps he wasn’t seeking escape but looking for a kind of signal, like there would be someone dressed in a neon yellow jacket with brightly coloured flags who could provide him with distant aid. But what he was really looking for—that was difficult to know. In fact, if you had somehow managed to catch him in a moment of lucidity, cornered him and asked him what it meant when he floated off like that, he would have only cocked his head back at you, gazing over your shoulder as the bonds of his senses loosened their hold.