"(a) Are the skies you sleep under likely to
open up for weeks on end?
(b) Is the
ground you walk on likely to tremble and split?
(c) Is there
a chance (and please check the box, no matter how small that chance seems) that
the ominous mountain casting a midday shadow over your home might one day erupt
with no rhyme or reason?
Because if the answer is yes to one or all of these
questions, then the life you lead is a midnight thing, always a hair's breadth
from the witching hour; it is volatile, it is threadbare; it is carefree in the
true sense of that term; it is light, losable like a key or a hair clip. And it
is lethargy: why not sit all morning, all day, all year, under the same cypress
tree drawing the figure eight in the dust? More than that, it is disaster, it
is chaos: why not overthrow a government on a whim, why not blind the man you
hate, why not go mad, go gibbering through the town like a loon, waving your
hands, tearing your hair? There's nothing to stop you - or rather anything could stop you, any hour, any
minute. That feeling. That's the real difference in a