But does Mr Thompson himself know this, feel this? After finding him 'a riot', 'a laugh', 'loads of fun', people are disquieted, even terrified, by something in him. 'He never stops,' they say. 'He's like a man in a race, a man trying to catch something which always eludes him.' And, indeed, he can never stop running, is never healed, but as to be bridged, to be 'patched', every second. And the bridges, the patches, for all their brilliance, fail to work – because they are confabulations, fictions, which cannot do service for reality, while also failing to correspond with reality. Does Mr Thompson feel this? Or, again, what is his 'feeling of reality'? Is he in a torment all the while – the torment of a man lost in unreality, struggling to rescue himself, but sinking himself, by ceaseless inventions, illusions, themselves quite unreal?