A few days had passed with no word from his parents. It was supposed to be a simple skiing trip. He assumed that they were simply out of cell phone range, because anything else would require some measure of action, the nature of which would not be unlike carrying the burden of Atlas. His sister shared his relative ambivalence regarding parent status; she stated what he would not, which was, “They don’t go out of their way to check on us, so why would we check on them?” He was quite relieved at his sibling’s validation, so much so that he didn’t give it another thought until the police called several weeks later.
His father was the adventurous type and had taken his mother rock climbing instead of skiing. They had become stranded on a ledge and based on journal entries had lost their minds and jumped into the gorge below. He was hoping for a more interesting story; something like, “Your father was found to have developed a bear/shark hybrid and it escaped its cage and consumed your parents. We need the keys to your father’s lab immediately to contain this biological threat.” His sister concurred with how unremarkably their parents had perished and jokingly offered to help him with any bear/shark experiments he might be working on.
He tends to roll his sleeves. A long time ago he realized that his arms were a bit longer than average. Even so, he generally lets one roll down and doesn’t bother correcting it until it becomes an impairment. As to what an unbuttoned sleeve could impair is debatable, however he generally allows this asymmetry to occur in times of pleasant dishevelry, and as tasks arise, the act of correcting his shirt mnemonically triggers his work persona.
Most days he was fairly confident of who he was, but about once a month he considered the idea that his head and neck had at one point been replaced with those of someone else. He was still him, but something less or more as well. There wasn’t any good explanation for his imagined transplantation so he simply counted it, along with some other nonsense, as a minor victory against insanity.