He was a strange man, as all who knew him agreed – strange and unusual, and peculiar in his ways. Most peculiar in his ways. All who knew him were in agreement on this point and that was most certain. Sure and certain, sure and certain. As certain as can be. As certain as tea. Peculiar in his ways he was, as I have just said. And yet that’s not what I wanted to say at all however. It’s far from what I wanted to say. My mind is wandering here and there of its own accord and there is no sense in what it says. It couldn’t make sense if it tried. I was dreaming the world – I was dreaming the world and myself in it. It was all the same dream you see. It’s all the one. The dream came to me and I came with the dream and I didn’t know what to make of any of it. Strange and unsettling the dream was and I couldn’t tell you where it came from. Out of nowhere it came and as far as I know it goes nowhere either. ‘Ex nihilo,’ I say to myself, the words coming unbidden to my lips. Out of nothing it comes and to nothing it will doubtless return. Where else would it go? Best not to try to say too much about it in that case, I warn myself. Best not to make too many unwarranted inferences for unwarranted is what they would be. They would not be warranted at all, and so what would be the point in making them? Isn’t it enough that the dream comes out of nowhere, out of nothing, without us adding reams upon reams of unwarranted inferences? What is to be gained, after all? What’s to be gained and why would we think that there was a need to be gaining anything anyway? Why would we want to be so presumptuous? Who is the gainer and what is the gained? The trouble is of course that the inferences quickly develop a life of their own. Who could argue with that, after all? The trouble is of course that we can argue over anything. We argue ourselves into existence every day but it is an argument we can never win. Is it any wonder therefore that we are so quarrelsome, so quick to be irritated, so quick to find fault? Is it any wonder we are so very contentious in our nature, so very ready to come out with opinions and judgements, opinions and judgements that not even we ourselves believe in, were truth to be known? We would pick a fight as soon as breath and no wonder too! We argue ourselves into existence every day and then complain bitterly when others try to prove us wrong. A speck of dust can’t settle on the carpet without us picking a fight with it – that’s how quarrelsome we are! We have something to say about everything and yet none of it’s true. We’d admit this ourselves if we weren’t so incorrigibly contrary.