It’s 7 PM and it’s at least 10 degrees hotter in the dining room than it is outside. The dining room, now full of the brain cell-eating tang of very, very strong markers and a cup long emptied of ice water.
Louis is ready to start hallucinating. He feels it’s the next step after the lightheadedness. But it does not come. Of course it doesn’t. Because hallucinating would be an escape.
He looks down at the picture he’s finished inking already-the one he’s attempting to color now, although you couldn’t tell from the fresh square of bleedproof paper beneath it. It’s not even a main character, that’s the thing. Louis will return to this and know that:
a) he cannot post it before posting a finished picture of Lethe, a picture that he hasn’t inked yet.
b) although this character is one of his favorites from the book (and his artist’s favorite overall), he’s still just a side character. A side side character even; he doesn’t make an appearance until around page 140.
c) tragically, although he’s completely ready for Tron, Louis cannot take another Tron: Legacy teaser break and be completely entertained.
And seeing this, Louis decides it’s time to give his world of distractions a little nudge, via text, like so:
“Dude. Will you be on tonight for gaming?”
“I know what I’m making for your Can You Smell What the Rock Is Cookin’? party.”
But these do not work. So he pops open Warm Grey #3, and sighs.
But then he looks down at Exelel. Exelel. His artist has done an awesome job and the inking is done. It’s done because Louis did it. And it’s not a hallucination-he’s certain.
But he leans in close to the inked cell anyway. When he’s satisfied that it’s really real, that he did it, he smiles.