- Vol. 06
- Chapter 01
HALF A HOLLOW SKULL
‘It’s a condition,’ said the man in the white coat. "Dysplexiphagorhynia." It means that things look to you as if they were models or made from paper.’
I know my Greek, and there was nothing in the word he used that had anything to do with models or paper.
‘Are you sure about that?’
‘One hundred percent. I am a specialist in the condition. I see cases from all over the world.’
The oddest thing was that to me, he appeared roughly two centimetres tall and his hair was made of string. No, the oddest thing was that I did not find his appearance odd. I picked him up and balanced him on my forearm. He didn’t seem to mind, although he seemed more comfortable sitting down.
‘Is there anything anyone can do about it?’ I asked.
‘I’m afraid not, though we suspect that avoiding all food with an "n" in it might help.’
‘So cheese is okay?’
‘Interesting question. We think it’s the precise name of the food that matters, so you can, for instance, eat cheddar but not Parmesan. The other question still to be settled is whether language counts.’
I raised my arm for the fun of seeing him lose his balance.
He clung on to my sleeve as he spoke.
HALF A HOLLOW SKULL
‘There is a cheese known as Vache Sainte, which translates as Holy Cow. We don’t know if using the English translation makes a difference.’
I was finding him a little dull, so I shook my arm until he fell off. He landed next to the cut out of a house. To my surprise, he opened the door and went in. To my even greater surprise, the people in the neighbouring photograph became quite angry and walked right out of the picture. I wondered if they were related to the man in the white coat. Right at that moment, everything seemed possible.
As time went by, I began to feel sad. I missed experiencing the world in three dimensions and at a proper size, although I did enjoy playing with the models. I was getting rather hungry and although I found a picture of a pizza, it did not have the same appeal as the real thing.
I’m ashamed to say that what I missed most was my phone. I rather liked not being surrounded by people, or at least people of the commonly accepted size, and I realised that if nothing changed, I was bound to die of hunger or thirst, but I would have liked something to keep my mind occupied while it was happening. As it was, there was nothing to do but tear up bits of paper or shuffle the models around. So I did. And by the end of the day, all that was left except me was a pile of confetti.
The whole experience seemed to go on for ever, then everything abruptly went back to normal, I vomited once and waited for the migraine proper to start.