I look at his fingers as they handed me a drink; they were bony thin, much like the rest of him. When not handling drinks, those fingers spent time scratching the crop of beard that he’d allowed to grow unfettered on his face.

I swallow the rum in three long gulps, unevenly paced.

I look at his fingers cradling a pen, plotting equations between the finite and infinite in one breath. He says the logic is flawed and I believe him because it is. He steps into a discourse on the theory of everything, stopping mid-sentence ever so often, stretched thin between confidence and the lack of it within him.

I lie on the floor imagining the arithmetic unfolding in psychedelic patterns on the white ceiling.

I look at his eyes, closed as they are, entranced by the music. He does not respond as I call him out because he’s lost in the one without us. We leave the room for a smoke, a view of the receding monsoon’s full moon sky and another stutter-ridden discourse.

I smoke only by way of three drags, each longer and slower than the one before.