He’d discovered a small stone in his sandal during his evening walk. He tried dislodging it through contortions that involved kicking. He knew he could remove the sandal and get rid of the stone. He didn’t do that. Instead, as the stone inflicted a more painful moment on a toe, he complained, “Is there anything worse than a stone in your shoe?”
“Maybe,” he replied to himself. “A hair in your soup?”
“That’s not worse.”
“Okay. A shot in the head. Getting stabbed in the heart.”
“I get your point.”
“Acid thrown on your face. Your throat slit. Being set on fire.”
“Starving to death. Dying of thirst. Suffocating. Drowning.”
He fell silent. That would teach him to talk to himself.