It felt weird, being numbered like that.
Like I was just another thing.
Maybe I was just another unimportant thing. The world would go on spinning if I was gone.
I thought about the number the metallic voice gave me: IL45094 .
I began twisting it in my mind, to occupy myself: I’ll for five o’ nine fours… For nine or five, four lies… ill too, to for-ti-five forty nine isles…
When others were around, & I began spouting weird combinations of things like that, I’d get sidelong glances, raised eyebrows, contorted expressions.
But now, it didn’t matter.
My mind-twistings became verbal, ringing coldly off the windows. I spun in a giddy circle, for a moment completely oblivious to my situation. Until I heard sliding metal again. I dropped to the floor, dizzy. The man who’d apprehended me scurried in, a long tape of figures in his hand.
“Do that again.”
My brow furrowed in confusion. “What, spin in a circle?”
He shook his head. “No no, before that. With the numbers. We’ve never seen anything like it.”