He stopped dead in the middle of the street. Several people walked briskly past; they were as clear to him as trees seen from a high speed train. Something was happening inside of him, within that space hidden and accessible only indirectly through words and symbols. A thick, bilious sludge had built up in his mind over the past months; it initially kept to far corners, but gradually expanded to the center where it crystallized. He felt it move. Its state transformed from solid to liquid, from liquid to gas. It was still there, behind his eyes, only lighter now. Suddenly, his mouth opened and he laughed. He laughed until his stomach and throat ached, until the last of the crippling molecules had left him and hung high in the sky. A woman who had watched him from a distance finally decided to approach him. “Are you all right?” she asked. “I’m more than that,” he replied. “I’m free.”