The officer would stand on this block of cells and would hear all manner of exclamations, sometimes of sheer terror, others of mirthful glee, sometimes of such deep melancholy that it darkened the ceiling and it rained dark lucubrious drops that never hit the ground, others of mocking. It always amazed him for he would see prisoner number 12 writhing in bed screaming “they come for me, save me! O, I didn’t mean to do it, yes, I recognize that knife… Somebody, save me!!” and sometimes he would attempt to run through the wall because he was trying to get away from his malefactors. In the morning, sometimes, he’d have a great swell on his shin and would be walking with a limp. He’d broken his forearm before. All these, occurrences awake.

He’d met him fully awake before, denuding himself for he thought he had committed atrocities in his life. His eyes would have a wild horror in them with a great grief moving sombrely beneath

Other times, he’d see him sitting at the edge of the bed, singing and laughing, making fun of himself, his situation of incarceration, his grief, his glee, his life of devilry.

All these times, he would call the prisoner and ask “so, you can be sorrowful”, “so, you don’t think these are bad things”, “so, you can be terrified” and immediately prisoner number 12 would answer with a serene face “of course, I’m a human after all”