Jim was at the gate. The gatekeeper, a peasant from the countryside, a man of about forty with a big bushy red beard, a man who laughed nervously after each comment, a man who insisted upon profusive apologies regarding the gate’s broken condition, a man who smoked continuously and seemed to Jim on the verge of falling asleep, a man who droned on endlessly about his village, boring Jim about the unusual weather patterns in his valley and how lovely it was in summer, that Jim should come visit in summer during some festival, but Jim wasn’t really listening because he really didn’t care, he had no intention of going to the damned festival, Jim was puzzled by the gatekeepers boring drone and his guzzling of reality, his total drain on everything alive.