“Jay.” Honcho walks into the RV. “There is a rather harried man in a suit here to see you. He says his name is Clive, and he was looking all over the city to try and find you for two days now.”
“Oh! Is he looking for hugs? Because I’ve only given out six this morning,” I say, getting off the one chair and hurrying to the door.
“I think he’s wanting something else,” Honcho says.
And he’s all a magician and really good with his voice so I don’t boing out of the RV and say hello like a Jay but just walk really boring like and stop as a man starts crying.
“You have to stop it,” he says.
“Jay does many things,” Honcho says behind me. “Sometimes he even remembers doing them.”
I’d normally comment about that, but Clive sounds really scared and the bindings around me are frayed in weird directions human bindings don’t normally go.
“I was late for a meeting with a – a client. I said I was running out of time as I hurried across a road and there was a car and I got lucky and then this blind kid is asking if I’m ‘all kinds of stupid’ because he heard the car before I did AND probably saw it better than I did and he can’t even see’ and people were laughing but I was in too much of a hurry and the kid – you – you said something about finding time.”
“I did? I tend to leave Time alone because it gets all kinds of grumpy, but! humans have a lot more time than they think because clocks are inventions,” I say proudly, because I know stuff.
“There are two extra hours. To each day, to every day, the clocks have 13 hours for me and when it – the hands of the clock, the sounds. There is something in that, hiding, not wanting to be found,” Clive whispered. “I can’t get work done during them, not before them. It – it – it’s going to eat me, the thing inside the time we made.”
“But,” I say, “you still get all your work done, right? Cuz you’re really good at your job?”
“What?” Clive says in a really funny tone.
“That’s a really easy question,” I say crossly. “Because Honcho asks not-easy ones and I totally know what those are like.”
“I do,” he says.
“See?” I unmake the bindings on his perception with a huge grin. “You can’t run out of time because you did all your work in less time even when I gave you more!”
And Clive doesn’t even want a hug and almost says some really mean things before he runs away, which is definitely very rude.
“Jay,” Honcho says.
“I totally proved he had tons of free time and it worked,” I say.
“I know. But generally parables are a little more subtle than that if you want to subject someone to one.”
“Really? Even with humans?”
“Yes, even with humans.” Honcho ruffles my hair. “You were trying to show him a truth, but you can’t scare people toward the truth, Jay.”
“I didn’t know the extra hour stuff would be scary, since I’d never done it before for someone and –.”
“I know. It’s something to look into. But sometimes when people say things like that, you do know they don’t always mean them. We’ve talked about this a lot.”
“I totally know that, because Charlie says lots of mean things to me she doesn’t mean all the time!”
And Honcho says nothing at all to that, probably because I’m pretty clever too sometimes.