The grey at his temples, he thinks, is surely a good sign, welcome proof that things fall apart as they should. Even for gods. Even for him. Each new silver strand gives him hope that maybe time can accomplish what he's never been able to. After all, he's never been able to bleed. He's tried poisons; he metabolizes them. Radiation bounces off of him, harmless as sunlight. Fire barely makes him sweat, gas makes him feel giddy, and electric shocks just make him ticklish. The only reason he pretended to die is because it's the only way he knows how.

Once, he lay at the bottom of Metro Lake for three days before getting bored and giving up. Still, it was peaceful, the water flowing into him and out of him, there in the slanted light and the silence. Rooted in the silt like some aquatic plant, he had imagined, briefly, that he might stay there forever. But then a family came picnicking, and their child fell into the chilly waters. He remembers the fragility of that waterlogged and coughing boy; it stunned him. He'd turned away at the parents' thanks, so they wouldn't see the envy in his eyes.

There is one idea that he keeps returning to, especially these days, with so much time alone. It squats on his brain like a fat toad, biding its time, flicking an evil tongue over the folds of his thoughts. The idea is this: that he might snap his own neck. It might really be possible, he thinks, and flexes his fingers. But so far fear and something else have stopped him, and he is left chuckling darkly at the twisted philosophy of it, a variation on the old riddle: Is an all-powerful god strong enough to break his own bones?