Outside motors are roaring: but less like transport than like some kind of stationary machine, very low earthquake frequencies coming in mixed with the cold — somehow intimating that out there your blindness after this bright indoors, will be like a sudden blow. . . .
Imagine a missile one hears approaching only after it explodes. The reversal! A piece of time neatly snipped out . . . a few feet of film run backwards . . . the blast of the rocket, fallen faster than sound — then growing out of it the roar of its own fall, catching up to what’s already death and burning . . . a ghost in the sky. . . .
The silent room. The old man did not stir on the floor. The wind blew in the broken window. The air was cool.
“Congratulate me, Barton, this is my twenty-sixth birthday!”