Gene is hysterical, and you can decide yourself what you want that to mean. He exhibits the same sense of innocent mania as a five-year-old with a switch-blade – it feels like it can bubble over at any moment into something deeply disturbing. The cracks in his panic-stricken shrieks are like a pair of jelly sandals on a mass murderer – you feel like you should be scared but they make you want to give him a hug.
He is a pure being unscuffed by the darkness at the heart of this most unforgiving of worlds. A new pair of gleaming white Y-fronts that have not yet lost their lustre to the dark brown Marmite skids of experience.
I love him in the way one loves a puppy with deep emotional trauma – I want to hold him and tell him “everything's going to be okay”, even if it is a terrible lie. But I worry such naked affection would send him into a mad frenzy of awkward panic. So I'll just maintain a safe distance and try to achieve a comforting smile. I don't want Gene to know how bad it can be. I want him to feel safe.
When I feel myself starting to slip, when the tenuous consistency of my mind begins to deteriorate like a once firm sandcastle falling apart in the Sun, I hope I can lose it with as much charm as Gene.