Even when he’s outside he imagines he hears ethereal pop star lyrics coming from invisible overhead speakers, the clear blue mid-April air filled with invitation and fresh desire. Every breath is ecstasy, each inhalation more nubile and restorative than its predecessor, each step lighter and more skippingly jaunty than the last.
Halfway through lunch, even the octogenarian vet at the adjacent table starts to look less like the terrifying harbinger of future miseries and more like some charming, beatific guardian angel, lighting the easy path into a comfortable and conflict-free seniority. He is so overcome by these visions that he forgets to fret about the conversion of starch into sugar; savors every mouthful of manna; feasts on the sweetness of his server’s smile.
When he returns to his office, he can’t remember how to answer the phone. Everyone can see the top of his head is missing.