The Man Who Ate The World

FREDERIK POHL   Epilogue This takes place in a world where the poor must consume to avoid waste. Sonny received no love except from his robotic companions. Being a good consumer was the only validation he ever received. His parents were too busy consuming (as was required by their jobs) to have time to provide love to sonny personally. We have many billionaires today that remind me of Sonny. As a wise man once said"I have something a billionaire will never have. Enough." The only way to achieve love is through consuming.



He had a name but at home, he was called "Sonny," and he was almost always at home. He hated it. Other boys his age went to school. Sonny would have done anything to go to school, but his family was, to put it mildly, not well off. It was not Sonny's fault that his father was so unsuccessful. But it meant no school for Sonny, no boys of his own age for Sonny to play with. All childhoods are tragic (as all adults forget), but Sonny's was misery all the way through.
The worst time was at night, when the baby sister was asleep and the parents were grimly eating and reading and dancing and drinking, until they, were ready to, drop. And of all bad nights, the night before his twelfth birthday was perhaps Sonny's worst. He was old enough to know what a birthday party was like.
It would be cake and candy, shows and games.
It would be presents, and more presents, and more presents.
It would be a terrible, endless day.
He switched off the color-D television and the recorded tapes of sea chanteys and, with an appearance of absentmindedness, walked toward the door of his playroom.
Davey Crockett got up from beside the model rocket field and said, "Hold on thar, Sonny. Mought take a stroll with you." Davey, with a face as serene and strong as a Tennessee crag, swung its long huntin' rifle under one arm and put its other arm around Sonny's shoulders. "Where you reckon the two of us ought to head?"
Sonny shook Davey Crockett's arm off. "Get lost," he said petulantly. "Who wants you around?"
Long John Silver came out of the closet, hobbling on its wooden leg, crouched over its knobby cane. "Ah, young master," it said reproachfully, "you shouldn't ought to talk to old Davey like that! He's a good friend to you, Davey is. Many's the weary day Davey and me has been a-keepin' of your company. I asks you this, young master: Is it fair and square that you should be a-tellin' him to get lost? Is it fair, young master? Is it square?"
Sonny looked at the floor stubbornly and didn't answer. What was the use of answering dummies like them? He stood rebelliously silent and still until he just felt like saying something. And then he said: "You go in the closet, both of you. I don't want to play with you. I'm going to play with my trains."
Long John said unctuously: "Now there's a good idea, that

Is! You just be a-havin' of a good time with your trains and old Davey and me'll-"
"Go ahead!" shouted Sonny. He kept stamping his foot until they were out of sight.
His fire truck was in the middle of the floor; he kicked at it, but it rolled quickly out of reach and slid into its little garage under the tanks of tropical fish.
He scuffed over to the model railroad layout and glared at it. As he approached, the Twentieth Century Limited came roaring out of a tunnel, sparks flying from its stack. It crossed a bridge, whistled at a grade crossing, steamed into the Union Station. The roof of the station glowed and suddenly became transparent, and through it Sonny saw the bustling crowds of redcaps and travelers-
"I don't want that," he said. "Casey, crack up old Number Ninety-nine again."
Obediently the layout quivered and revolved a half-turn. Old Casey Jones, one and an eighth inches tall, leaned out of the cab of the S.P. locomotive and waved good-by to Sonny. The locomotive whistled shrilly twice and picked up speed-
It was a good crackup. Little old Casey's body, thrown completely free, developed real blisters from the steam and bled real blood. But Sonny turned his back on it. He had liked that crackup for a long time-longer than he liked almost any other toy he owned. But he was tired of it.
He looked around the room.
Tarzan of the Apes, leaning against a foot-thick tree trunk, one hand on a vine, lifted its head and looked at him; but Tarzan was clear across the room. The others were in the closet.

Sonny ran out and slammed the door. He saw Tarzan

start to come after him, but even before Sonny was out of the room, Tarzan slumped and stood stock-still.
It wasn't fair, Sonny thought angrily. They wouldn't even chase him, so that at least he could have some kind of chance to get away by himself. They'd just talk to each other on their little radios, and in a minute one of the tutors, or one of the maids, or whatever else happened to be handy would vector in on him--
But, for the moment, he was free.
He slowed down and walked along the Great Hall toward his baby sister's room. The fountains began to splash as he entered the hall; the mosaics on the wall began to tinkle music and sparkle with moving colors.
"Now, chile, whut you up to?"
He turned around, but he knew it was Mammy coming toward him. It was slapping toward him on big, flat feet, its pink-palmed hands lifted to its shoulders. The face under the red bandanna was frowning, its gold tooth sparkling as Mammy scolded: "Chile, you is got usns so worried, we's fit to die! How you 'speck us to take good keer of you efn you run off lak that? Now you jes come on back to your nice room with Mammy an' we'll see if there ain't some real nice program on the TV."
Sonny stopped and waited for it, but he wouldn't give it the satisfaction of looking at it. Slap-slap the big feet waddled cumbersomely toward him; but he didn't have any illusions. Waddle, big feet, three hundred pounds and all, Mammy could catch him in twenty yards with a ten-yard start. Any of them could.
He said in his best icily indignant voice: "I was just going in to look, at my baby sister."
Pause. "You was?" The plump black face looked suspicious.

"Yes, I was. Doris is my own sister and I love her." Pause-long pause. "Dat's nice," said Mammy, but its voice was still doubtful. "I 'speck I better come 'long with you. You wouldn't want to wake your lil baby sister up. Ef I come, I'll he'p you keep real quiet."
Sonny shook free of it they were always putting their bands on kids! "I don't want you to come with me, Mammy!"
"Aw, now, honey! Mammy ain't gwine bother nothin', you knows that!"
Sonny turned his back on it and marched grimly toward his sister's room. If only they would leave him alone! But they never did.
It was always that way, always one darn old robot-yes, robot, he thought, savagely tasting the naughty word. Always one darn robot after another. Why couldn't Daddy be like other daddies, so they could live in a decent little house and get rid of those darn robots-so he could go to a real school and be in a class with other boys, instead of being taught at home by Miss Brooks and Mr. Chips and all those other robots?
They spoiled everything. And they would spoil what he wanted to do now. But he was going to do it all the same, because there was something in Doris's room that he wanted very much.
It was probably the only tangible thing he wanted in the world.
As he and Mammy passed the imitation tumbled rocks of the Bear Cave, Mama Bear poked its head out and growled: "Hello, Sonny. Don't you think you ought to he in bed? It's nice and warm in our bear bed, Sonny."
He didn't even look at it. Time was when he had liked that sort of thing, too, but he wasn't a four-year-old like Dori any more. All the same, there was one thing a four-year-old had--
He stopped at the door of her room. "Doris?" he whispered.
Mammy scolded: "Now, chile, you knows that lil baby is asleep! How come you tryin' to wake her up?"
"I won't wake her up." The furthest thing from Sonny's mind was to wake his sister up. He tiptoed into the room and stood beside the little girl's bed. Lucky kidl he thought enviously. Being four, she was allowed to have a tiny little room and a tiny bed-while Sonny had to wallow around in a forty-foot bedchamber and a bed eight feet long.
He looked down at his sister. Behind him, Mammy clucked approvingly. "Dat's nice when chilluns loves each other lak you an' that lil baby," it whispered.
Doris was sound asleep, clutching her teddy-bear. It wriggled slightly and opened an eye to look at Sonny, but it didn't say anything.
Sonny took a deep breath, leaned forward and gently slipped the teddy-bear out of the bed.
It scrambled pathetically, trying to get free.
Mammy whispered urgently: "Sonnyl Now you let dat old teddy-bear alone, you heah me?"
Sonny whispered: "I'm not hurting anything. Leave me alone, will you?"
He clutched the little furry robot desperately around its middle. The stubby arms pawed at him, the furred feet scratched against his arms. It growled a tiny doll-bear grow, and whined, and suddenly his hands were wet with its real salt tears.
"Sonnyl Come on now, honey, you knows that's Doris's Teddy. Aw, chile!"

He said: "It's mine!" It wasn't his. He knew it wasn't. His was long gone, taken away from him when he was six because it was old, and because he had been six, and six-year olds had to have bigger, more elaborate companion-robots. It wasn't even the same color as his-it was brown and his had been black and white. But it was cuddly and gently warm and he had heard it whispering little bedtime stories to Doris. And he wanted it very much.
Footsteps in the hall outside. A low-pitched pleading voice from the door: "Sonny, you must not interfere with your sister's toys. One has obligations."
He stood forlornly, holding the teddy-bear. "Go away, Mr. Chips!"
"Really, Sonny! This isn't proper behavior. Please return the toy."
"I won't!"
Mammy, dark face pleading in the shadowed room, leaned toward him and tried to take it away from him. "Aw, honey, now you know that's not-"
"Leave me alone!" he shouted. There was a gasp and a little whimper from the bed, and Doris sat up and began to cry.
The little girl's bedroom was suddenly filled with robots -and not only robots, for in a moment the butler appeared, leading Sonny's actual flesh-and-blood mother and father.
Sonny made a terrible scene. He cried, and he swore at them childishly for being the unsuccessful clods they were, and they nearly wept, too, because they were aware that their lack of standing was bad for the children. But he couldn't keep Teddy.
They marched him back to his room, where his father lectured him while his mother stayed behind to watch Mammy comfort the little girl.

His father said: "Sonny, you're a big boy now. We aren't as well off as other people, but you have to help us. Don't you know that Sonny? We all have to do our part. Your mother and I'll he up till midnight now, consuming, because you've made this scene. Can't you at least try to consume something bigger than a teddy-bear? It's all right for Doris because she's so little, but a big boy like you
"I hate you!" cried Sonny, and he turned his face to the wall.
They punished him, naturally. The first punishment was that they give him an extra birthday party the week following.
The second punishment was even worse.

Later-much, much later, nearly a score of years-a man named Roger Garrick in a place named Fisherman's Island walked into his hotel room.
The light didn't go on.
The bellhop apologized, "We're sorry, sir. We'll have it attended to, if possible."
"If possible?" Garrick's eyebrows went up. The bellhop made putting in a new light tube sound like a major industrial operation. "All right." He waved the bellhop out of the room. It bowed and closed the door.
Garrick looked around him, frowning. One light tube more or less didn't make a lot of difference; there was still the light from the sconces at the walls, from the reading lamps at the chairs and chaise-longue and from the photomural on the long side of the room-to say nothing of the fact that it was broad, hot daylight outside and light poured through the windows. All the same, it was a new sensation

to be in a room where the central lighting wasn't on. He didn't like it. It was-creepy.
A rap on the door. A girl was standing there, young, attractive, rather small. But a woman grown, it was apparent. "Mr. Garrick? Mr. Roosenburg is expecting you on the sun deck."
"All right." He rummaged around in the pile of luggage, looking for his briefcase. It wasn't even sorted out! The bellhop had merely dumped the stuff and left.
The girl said: "Is that what you're looking for?" He looked where she was pointing; it was his briefcase, behind another bag. "You'll get used to that around here. Nothing in the right place, nothing working right. We've all gotten used to it.
We? He looked at her sharply, but she was no robot; there was life, not the glow of electronic tubes, in her eyes. "Pretty bad, is it?"
She shrugged. "Let's go see Mr. Roosenburg. I'm Kathryn Pender, by the way. I'm his statistician."
He followed her out into the hall. "Statistician, did you say?"
She turned and smiled-a tight, grim smile of annoyance. "That's right. Surprised?"
Garrick said uneasily: "Well, it's more a robot job. Of course, I'm not familiar with the practice in this sector--"
"You will be," she promised bluntly. "No, we aren't taking the elevator. Mr. Roosenburg's in a hurry to see you."
She actually glared at him. "Don't you understand? Day before yesterday, I took the elevator and I was hung up between floors for an hour and a half. Something was going on at North Guardian and it took all the power in the lines. Would it happen again today? I don't know. But believe me,
an hour and a half is a long time to be stuck in an elevator."
She turned and led him to the fire stairs. Over her shoulder,
she said: "Get it straight once and for all, Mr. Garrick. You're
in a disaster area here Anyway, it's only ten more
Ten flights. Nobody climbed ten flights of stairs any morel
Garrick was buffing and puffing before they were half way, but the girl kept on ahead, light as a gazelle. Her skirt reached between hip and knees, and Garrick had plenty of opportunity to observe that her legs were attractively tanned. Even so, he couldn't help looking around him.
It was a robot's-eye view of the hotel that he was getting; this was the bare wire armature that held up the confectionery suites and halls where the humans went. Garrick knew, as everyone absently knew, that there were places like this behind the scenes everywhere. Below stairs, the robots worked; behind scenes, they moved about their errands and did their jobs. But nobody went there.
It was funny about the backs of this girl's knees. They were paler than the rest of the leg-
Garrick wrenched his mind back to his surroundings. Take the guard rail along the steps, for instance. It was wire-thin, frail-looking. No doubt it could bear any weight it was required to, but why couldn't it look that strong?
The answer, obviously, was that robots did not have humanity's built-in concepts of how strong a rail should look before they could believe it really was strong. If a robot should be in any doubt-and how improbable that a robot should be in doubt-it would perhaps reach out a sculptured hand and test it. Once. And then it would remember, and never doubt again, and it wouldn't be continually edging toward the wall, away from the spider-strand between it and the vertical drop-
He conscientiously took the middle of the steps all the rest of the way up.
Of course, that merely meant a different distraction, when he really wanted to do some thinking. But it was a pleasurable distraction. And by the time they reached the top, he had solved the problem. The pale spots at the back of Miss Pender's knees meant she had got her tan the hard way walking in the Sun, perhaps working in the Sun, so that the bending knees kept the Sun from the patches at the back; not, as anyone else would acquire a tan, by lying beneath a normal, healthful sunlamp held by a robot masseur.
He wheezed: "You don't mean we're all the way up!"
"All the way up," she said, and looked at him closely. "Here, lean on me if you want to."
"No, thanks!" He staggered over to the door, which opened naturally enough as he approached it, and stepped out into the flood of sunlight on the roof, to meet Mr. Roosenburg.
Garrick wasn't a medical doctor, but he remembered enough of his basic pre-specialization to know there was something in that fizzy golden drink. It tasted perfectly splendid-just cold enough, just fizzy enough, not quite too sweet. And after two sips of it, he was buoyant with strength and well-being.

He put the glass down and said: "Thank you for whatever it was. Now let's talk."
"Gladly, gladly!" boomed Mr. Roosenburg. "Kathryn, the

Garrick looked after her, shaking his head. Not only was she a statistician, which was robot work, she was also a file clerk-and that was barely robot work. It was the kind of

thing handled by a semi-sentient punchcard sorter in a decently run sector.
Roosenburg said sharply: "Shocks you, doesn't it? But that's why you're here." He was a slim, fair little man and he wore a golden beard cropped square.
Garrick took another sip of the fizzy drink. It was good stuff; it didn't intoxicate, but it cheered. He said: "I'm glad to know why I'm here."
The golden beard quivered. "Area control sent you down and didn't tell you this was a disaster area?"
Garrick put down the glass. "I'm a psychist. Area Control said you needed a psychist. From what I've seen, it's a supply problem, but--"
"Here are the files," said Kathryn Pender, and stood watching him.
Roosenburg took the spools of tape from her and dropped them in his lap. He asked tangentially: "How old are you, Roger?"
Garrick was annoyed. "I'm a qualified psychist! I happen to be assigned to Area Control and--"
"How old are you?"
Garrick scowled. "Twenty-four."
Roosenburg nodded. "Um. Rather young," he observed. "Maybe you don't remember how things used to be."
Garrick said dangerously: "All the information I need is on that tape. I don't need any lectures from you."
Roosenburg pursed his lips and got up. "Come here a minute, will you?"
He moved over to the rail of the sun deck and pointed. "See those things down there?"
Garrick looked. Twenty stories down, the village straggled off toward the sea in a tangle of pastel oblongs and towers. Over the bay, the hills of the mainland were faintly visible

through mist and, riding the bay, the flat white floats of the solar receptors.
"It's a power plant. That what you mean?"
Roosenburg boomed: "A power plant. All the power the world can ever use, out of this one and all the others, all over the world." He peered out at the bobbing floats, soaking up energy from the Sun. "And people used to try to wreck them," he added.
Garrick said stiffly: "I may only be twenty-four years old, Mr. Roosenburg, but I have completed school."
"Oh, yes. Of course you have, Roger. But maybe schooling isn't the same thing as living through a time like that. I grew up in the Era of Plenty, when the law was Consumel My parents were poor and I still remember the misery of my childhood. Eat and consume, wear and use. I never had a moment's peace, Roger! For the very poor, it was a treadmill; we had to consume so much that we could never catch up, and the further we fell behind, the more the Ration Board forced on us-"
"That's ancient history, Mr. Roosenburg. Morey Fry liberated us from all that."
The girl said softly: "Not all of us."
The man with the golden beard nodded. "Not all of us -as you should know, Roger, being a psychist."
Garrick sat up straight and Roosenburg went on: "Fry showed us that the robots could help at both ends-by producing and by consuming. But it came a little late for some Of us. The patterns of childhood do linger on."
Kathryn Pender leaned toward Garrick. "What he's trying to say, Mr. Garrick, is that we've got a compulsive consumer On our hands."

North Guardian island-nine miles away. It wasn't as much as a mile wide and not much more than that in length, but it had its city and its bathing beaches, its parks and theaters. It was possibly the most densely populated island in the world . . . for the number of its inhabitants.
The President of the Council convened their afternoon meeting in a large and lavish room. There were nineteen councilmen around a lustrous mahogany table. Over the President's shoulder, the others could see the situation map of North Guardian and the areas surrounding. North Guardian glowed blue, cold, impregnable. The sea was misty green; the mainland, Fisherman's Island, South Guardian and the rest of the little archipelago were hot, hostile red.
Little flickering fingers of red attacked the blue. Flick and a ruddy flame wiped out a corner of a beach. Flick, and a red spark appeared in the middle of the city, to grow and blossom, and then to die. Each little red whip-flick was a point where, momentarily, the defenses of the island were; down; but always and always, the cool blue brightened, around the red and drowned it.
The President was tall, stooped, and old. It wore glasses, though robot eyes saw well enough without. It said, in a voice that throbbed with power and pride: "The first item of the order of business will be a report of the Defense Secretary."
The Defense Secretary rose to its feet, booked a thumb in its vest and cleared its throat. "Mr. President-"
"Excuse me, sir." A whisper from the sweet-faced young blonde taking down the minutes of the meeting. "Mr. Trumie has just left Bowling Green, heading north."

The whole council turned to glance at the situation map, where Bowling Green had just flared red.
The President nodded stiffly, like the crown of an old redwood nodding. "You may proceed, Mr. Secretary," it said after a moment.
"Our invasion fleet," began the Secretary, in its high, clear voice, "is ready for sailing on the first suitable tide. Certain units have been, ah, inactivated, at the, ah, instigation of Mr. Trumie. But on the whole, repairs have been completed and the units will be serviceable within the next few hours." Its lean, attractive face turned solemn. "I am afraid, however, that the Air Command has sustained certain, ah, increments of attrition-due, I should emphasize, to chances involved in certain calculated risks--"
"Question! Question!" It was the Commissioner of Public Safety, small, dark, fire-eyed, angry.
"Mr. Commissioner?" the President began, but it was interrupted again by the soft whisper of the recording stenographer, listening intently to the earphones that brought news from outside.
"Mr. President," it whispered, "Mr. Trumie has passed the Navy Yard."
The robots turned to look at the situation map. Bowling Green, though it smoldered in spots, had mostly gone back to blue. But the jagged oblong of the Yard flared red and bright. There was a faint electronic hum in the air, almost a sigh.
The robots turned back to face each other. "Mr. President! I demand that the Defense Secretary explain the loss of the Graf Zeppelin and the 456th Bomb Group!"
The Defense Secretary nodded to the Commissioner of Public Safety. "Mr. Trumic threw them away," it said sorrowfully.

Once again, that sighing electronic drone from the assembled robots.
The Council fussed and fiddled with its papers, while the situation map on the wall flared and dwindled, flared and dwindled.
The Defense Secretary cleared its throat again. "Mr. President, there is no question that the, ah, absence of an effective air component will seriously hamper, not to say endanger, our prospects of a suitable landing. Nevertheless-and I say this, Mr. President in full knowledge of the conclusions that may-indeed, should-be drawn from such a statement nevertheless, Mr. President I say that our forward elements will successfully complete an assault landing-"
"Mr. President!" The breathless whisper of the blonde stenographer again. "Mr. President Mr. Trumie is in the building!"
On the situation map behind it the Pentagon-the building they were in-flared scarlet.
The Attorney General, nearest the door, leaped to its feet. "Mr. President, I hear him!"
And they could all hear now. Far off, down the long corridors, a crash. A faint explosion, and another crash, and a raging, querulous, high-pitched voice. A nearer crash, and a sustained, smashing, banging sound, coming toward them.
The oak-paneled doors flew open with a crash, splintering.
A tall, dark male figure in gray leather jacket, rocket-gun holsters swinging at its hips, stepped through the splintered doors and stood surveying the Council. Its hands hung just below the butts of the rocket guns.
It drawled: "Mistuh Anderson Trumie!"
It stepped aside. Another male figure-shorter, darker, hobbling with the aid of a stainless steel cane that concealed a ray-pencil, wearing the same gray leather jacket and

the same rocket-gun holsters-entered, stood for a moment, and took position on the other side of the door.
Between them, Mr. Anderson Trumie shambled ponderously into the Council Chamber to call on his Council.
Sonny Trumie, come of age. He wasn't much more than five feet tall, but his weight was close to four hundred pounds. He stood there in the door, leaning against the splintered oak, quivering jowls obliterating his neck, his eyes nearly swallowed in the fat that swamped his skull, his thick legs trembling as they tried to support him.

"You're all under arrest!" he screeched. "Traitors! Traitors!"

He panted ferociously, glowering at them. They waited with bowed heads. Beyond the ring of councilmen, the situation map slowly blotted out the patches of red as the repair robots worked feverishly to fix what Sonny Trumie had destroyed.
"Mr. Crockett!" Sonny cried shrilly. "Slay me these traitors!"
Wheep-wheep, and the guns whistled out of their holsters into the tall bodyguard's hands. Rata-tat-tat, and two by two, the nineteen councilmen leaped, clutched at air and fell as the rocket pellets pierced them through.
"That one, tool" Mr. Trumie pointed at the sweet-faced blonde.
Bang. The sweet young face convulsed and froze; it fell, slumping across its little table.
On the wall, the situation map flared red again, but only faintly-for what were twenty robots?
Sonny gestured curtly to his other bodyguard. It leaped forward, tucking the stainless steel cane under one arm, putting the other around the larded shoulders of Sonny Trumie.

"Ah, now, young master," it crooned. "You just get ahold o' Long John's arm now--"
"Get them fixed," Sonny ordered abruptly. He pushed the President of the Council out of its chair and, with the robot's help, sank into it himself. "Get them fixed right you hear? I've had enough traitors! I want them to do what I tell them!"

"Sartin sure, young master. Long John'll be pleased to-"

"Do it now! And you, Davey, I want my lunch!"
"Reckoned you would, Mistuh Trumie. It's right hyar." The Crockett robot kicked the fallen councilmen out of the way as a procession of waiters filed in from the corridor.
Sonny ate.
He ate until eating was pain, and then he sat there sobbing, his arms braced against the tabletop, until he could eat more.
The Crockett robot said worriedly: "Mistuh Trumie, moughtn't you rear back a mite? Old Doc Aeschylus, he don't hold with you eatin' too much, you know."
"I hate Doc!" Trumie said bitterly.
He pushed the plates off the table. They fell with a rattle and a clatter, and they went spinning away as he heaved himself up and lurched alone over to the window.

"I hate Doc!" he brayed again, sobbing, staring through tears out the window at his kingdom with its hurrying throngs and marching troops and roaring waterfront. The tallow shoulders tried to shake with pain. He felt as though hot cinderblocks were being thrust down his throat the ragged edges cutting, the hot weight crushing.
" Take me back," he wept to the robots. "Take me away from these traitors. Take me to my Private Place!"

"As you see," said Roosenburg, "he's dangerous."
Garrick looked out over the water, toward North Guardian. "I'd better look at his tapes," he said.
The girl swiftly picked up the reels and began to thread them into the projector. Dangerous. This Trumie indeed was dangerous, Garrick conceded. Dangerous to the balanced, stable world, for it only took one Trumie to topple its stability. It had taken thousands and thousands of years for society to learn its delicate tightrope walk. It was a matter for a psychist, all right.
And Garrick was uncomfortably aware that he was only twenty-four.
"Here you are," said the girl.
"Look them over," Roosenburg suggested. "Then, after you've studied the tapes on Trumie, we've got something else. One of his robots. But you'll need the tapes first."
"Let's go," said Garrick.
The girl flicked a switch and the life of Anderson Trumie appeared before them, in color, in three dimensions-in miniature.
Robots have eyes; and where the robots go, the eyes of Robot Central go with them. And the robots go everywhere. From the stored files of Robot Central came the spool of tape that was the frightful life story of Sonny Trumie.
The tapes played into the globe-shaped viewer, ten inches high, a crystal ball that looked back into the past. First, from the recording eyes of the robots in Sonny Trumie's nursery. The lonely little boy, twenty years before, lost in the enormous nursery.
"Disgusting!" breathed Kathryn Pender, wrinkling her nose. "How could people live like that?"

Carrick said: "Please, let me watch this. It's important." In the gleaming globe, the little boy kicked at his toys, threw himself across his huge bed, sobbed. Garrick squinted, frowned, reached out, tried to make contact. It was hard. The tapes showed the objective facts, but for a psychist, it was the subjective reality behind the facts that mattered.
Kicking at his toys. Yes, but why? Because he was tired of them-and why was he tired? Because he feared them? Kicking at his toys. Because-because they were the wrong toys? Kicking-hate them! Don't want them! Want-
A bluish flare in the viewing globe. Garrick blinked and jumped, and that was the end of that section.
The colors flowed and suddenly jelled into bright life. Garrick recognized the scene after a moment-it was right there in Fisherman's Island, some pleasure spot overlooking the water. A bar, and at the end of it was Anderson Trumie at twenty, staring somberly into an empty glass. The view was through the eyes of the robot bartender.
Anderson Trumie was weeping.
Once again, there was the objective fact-but the fact behind the fact what was it? Trumie had been drinking, drinking. Why?
Drinking, drinking.
With a sudden sense of shock, Carrick saw what the drink was-the golden, fizzy liquor. Not intoxicating. Not habit-forming! Trumie had become no drunk. It was something else that kept him drinking, drinking, must drink, must keep on drinking, or else--
And again the bluish flare.
There was more- Trumie feverishly collecting objects of art, Trumie decorating a palace, Trumie on a world tour, and Trumie returned to Fisherman's Island.
And then there was no more.

"That," said Roosenburg, "is the file. Of course, if you want the raw, unedited tapes, we can try to get them from Robot Central, but-"
"No." The way things were, it was best to stay away from Robot Central; there might be more breakdowns and there wasn't much time. Besides, something was beginning to suggest itself.
"Run the first one again," said Carrick. "I think maybe I'll find something there."
Garrick made out a quick requisition slip and handed it to Kathryn Pender, who looked at it, raised her eyebrows, shrugged and went off to have it filled.
By the time she came back, Roosenburg had escorted Garrick to the room where the captured Trumie robot lay chained.
"He's cut off from Robot Central," Roosenburg was saying. "I suppose you figured that out. Imagine! Not only has Trumie built a whole city for himself-but even his own Robot Central!"
Garrick looked at the robot. It was a fisherman, or so Roosenburg had said. It was small, dark, black-haired; possibly the hair would have been curly, if the sea water hadn't plastered the curls to the scalp. It was still damp from the tussle that had landed it in the water and eventually into Roosenburg's hands.
Roosenburg was already at work. Garrick tried to think of the robot as a machine, but it wasn't easy. The thing looked very nearly human-except for the crystal and copper that showed where the back of its head had been removed.
"It's as bad as a brain operation," said Roosenburg, working rapidly without looking up. "I've got to short out the input leads without disturbing the electronic balance--"
Snip, snip. A curl of copper fell free, to be grabbed by

Roosenburg's tweezers. The fisherman's arms and legs kicked sharply like a dissected galvanized frog's.
Kathryn Pender said: "They found him this morning, casting nets into the bay and singing 0 Sole Mio. He's from North Guardian, all right."
Abruptly the lights flickered and turned yellow, then slowly returned to normal brightness. Roger Garrick got up and walked over to the window. North Guardian was a haze of light in the sky, across the water.
Click, snap. The fisherman robot began to sing:

Tutte le serre, dopo quel fanal,
Dietro la caserma, ti staro ed-

Click. Roosenburg muttered under his breath and probed further. Kathryn Pender joined Garrick at the window.
"Now you see," she said.
Garrick shrugged. "You can't blame him."
"I blame him I" she said hotly. "I've lived here all my life. Fisherman's Island used to be a tourist spot-why, it was lovely here. And look at it now. The elevators don't work. The lights don't work. Practically all of our robots are gone. Spare parts, construction material, everything-it's all gone to North Guardian! There isn't a day that passes, Garrick, when half a dozen barge-loads of stuff don't go north, because he requisitioned them. Blame him? I'd like to kill him!"
Snap. Sputtersnap. The fisherman lifted its head and caroled:

Forse dommani, piangerai,
E dopo tu, sorriderai--

Roosenburg's probe uncovered a flat black disc. "Kathryn, look this up, will you?" He read the serial number from

the disc and then put down the probe. He stood flexing his fingers, looking irritably at the motionless figure.
Garrick joined him. Roosenburg jerked his head at the fisherman.
"That's robot repair work, trying to tinker with their insides. Trumie has his own Robot Central, as I told you. What I have to do is recontrol this one from the substation on the mainland, but keep its receptor circuits open to North Guardian on the symbolic level. You understand what I'm talking about? It'll think from North Guardian, but act from the mainland."
"Sure," said Garrick.
"And it's damned close work. There isn't much room inside one of those things--" He stared at the figure and picked up the probe again.
Kathryn Pender came back with a punchcard in her hand. "It was one of ours, all right. Used to be a busboy in the cafeteria at the beach club." She scowled. "That Trumie!"
"You can't blame him," Garrick said reasonably. "He's only trying to be good."
She looked at him queerly. "He's only--"
Roosenburg interrupted with an exultant cry. "Got it! Okay, you-sit up and start telling us what Trumie's up to now!"
The fisherman figure said obligingly, "Yes, Boss. What You wanna know?"
What they wanted to know, they asked; and what they asked, it told them, volunteering nothing, concealing nothing.
There was Anderson Trumie, king of his island, the compulsive consumer.
It was like an echo of the bad old days of the Age of Plenty, when the world was smothering under the endless,

pounding flow of goods from the robot factories and the desperate race between consumption and production strained the whole society. But Trumie's orders came not from society, but from within. Consumel commanded something inside him, and Use! it cried, and Devour! it ordered. And Trumie obeyed, heroically.
They listened to what the fisherman robot had to say, and the picture was dark. Armies had sprung up on North Guardian; navies floated in its waters. Anderson Trumie stalked among his creations like a blubbery god, wrecking and ruling. Garrick could see the pattern in what the fisherman had to say. In Trumie's mind, he was dictator, building a war machine. He was supreme engineer, constructing a mighty state. He was warrior.
"He was playing tin soldiers," said Roger Garrick, and Roosenburg and the girl nodded.
"The trouble is," Roosenburg said, "he has stopped playing. Invasion fleets, Garrick! He isn't content with North Guardian any more. He wants the rest of the country, too!"
"You can't blame him," said Roger Garrick for the third time, and stood up. "The question is, what do we do about it?"

"That's what you're here for," Kathryn told him.
"All right. We can forget about the soldiers-as soldiers, that is. They won't hurt anyone. Robots can't."
"I know that," Kathryn snapped.
"The problem is what to do about Trumie's drain on the world's resources." Garrick pursed his lips. "According to my directive from Area Control, the first plan was to let him alone-there is still plenty of everything for anyone, so why not let Trumie enjoy himself? But that didn't work out too well."
"Didn't work out too well," repeated Kathryn Pender bitterly.

"No, no-not on your local level," Garrick explained quickly. "After all, what are a few thousand robots, a few hundred million dollars' worth of equipment? We could resupply this area in a week."
"And in a week," said Roosenburg, "Trumie would have us cleaned out again!"
"That's the trouble," Garrick declared. "He doesn't seem to have a stopping point. Yet we can't refuse his orders. Speaking as a psychist, that would set a very bad precedent. It would put ideas in the minds of a lot of persons-minds that, in some cases, might not prove stable in the absence of a completely reliable source of everything they need, on request. If we say no to Trumie, we open the door on some mighty dark corners of the human mind. Covetousness. Greed. Pride of possession-"
"So what are you going to do?" demanded Kathryn Pender.
Garrick said resentfully: "The only thing there is to do. I'm going to look over Trumie's folder again. And then I'm going to North Guardian Island."

Roger Garrick was all too aware of the fact that he was only twenty-four. But his age couldn't make a great deal of difference. The oldest and wisest psychist in Area Control's wide sphere might have been doubtful of success in as thorny a job as the one ahead.
He and Kathryn Pender warily started out at daybreak. Vapor was rising from the sea about them, and the little battery-motor of their launch whined softly beneath the keelson. Garrick sat patting the little box that contained their invasion equipment, while the girl steered.
'Me workshops of Fisherman's Island had been all night
making some of the things in that box-not because they were so difficult to make, but because it had been a bad night. Big things were going on at North Guardian; twice, the power had been out entirely for an hour, while the demand on the lines from North Guardian took all the power the system could deliver.
The Sun was well up as they came within hailing distance of the Navy Yard.
Robots were hard at work; the Yard was bustling with activity. An overhead traveling crane, eight feet tall, laboriously lowered a prefabricated fighting top onto an eleven-foot aircraft carrier.
A motor torpedo boat-full-sized, this one was, not to scale -rocked at anchor just before the bow of their launch. Kathryn steered around it ignoring the hail from the robot lieutenant-j.g. at its rail.
She glanced at Garrick over her shoulder, her face taut. "It's-it's all mixed up."
Garrick nodded. The battleships were model-sized, the small boats full scale. In the city beyond the Yard, the pinnacle of the Empire State Building barely cleared the Pentagon, right next door. A soaring suspension bridge leaped out from the shore a quarter of a mile away and stopped short a thousand yards out, over empty water.
it was easy to understand-even for a psychist just out of school, on his first real assignment. Trumie was trying to run a world single-handed, and where there were gaps in his conception of what his world should be, the results showed.
"Get me battleships!" he ordered his robot supply clerks, and they found the only battleships there were in the world to copy, the child-sized, toy-scaled play battleships that still delighted kids.

"Get me an Air Force!" And a thousand model bombers were hastily put together.
"Build me a bridge!" But perhaps he had forgotten to say to where.
Garrick shook his head and focused on the world around him. Kathryn Pender was standing on a gray steel stage, the mooring line from their launch secured to what looked like a coast defense cannon-but only about four feet long. Garrick picked up the little box and leaped up to the stage beside her, She turned to look at the city.
"Hold on a second." He was opening the box, taking out two little cardboard placards. He turned her by the shoulder and, with pins from the box, attached one of the cards to her back. "Now me," he said, turning his back to her.
She read the placard dubiously:


"Garrick," she said, "you're sure you know what you're doing?"
"put it on!" She shrugged and pinned it to the back of his jacket.
Side by side, they entered the citadel of the enemy.
According to the fisherman robot Trumie lived in a gingerbread castle south of the Pentagon. Most of the robots got no chance to enter it. The city outside the castle was Trumie's kingdom, and he roamed about it, overseeing, changing, destroying, rebuilding. But inside the castle was his

Private Place; the only robots that had both an inside- and outside-the-castle existence were the two bodyguards of his youth, Davey Crockett and Long John Silver.
"That," said Carrick, "must be the Private Place."
It was decidedly a gingerbread castle. The "gingerbread" was stonework, gargoyles and columns; there were a moat and a drawbridge, and there were robot guards with crooked little rifles, wearing scarlet tunics and fur shakos three feet tall. The drawbridge was up and the guards stood at stiff attention.
"Let's reconnoiter," said Carrick. He was unpleasantly conscious of the fact that every robot they passed-and they bad passed thousands-had turned to look at the signs on their backs.
Yet it was right wasn't it? There was no hope of avoiding observation in any event. The only hope was to fit somehow into the pattern-and spies would certainly be a part of the military pattern.
Wouldn't they?
Garrick turned his back on doubts and led the way around the gingerbread palace.
The only entrance was the drawbridge.
They stopped out of sight of the ramrod-stiff guards. Carrick said: "We'll go in. As soon as we get inside, you put on your costume." He handed her the box. "You know what to do. All you have to do is keep him quiet for a while and let me talk to him."
"Carrick, will this work?"
Garrick exploded: "How the devil do I know? I had Trumie's dossier to work with. I know everything that happened to him when he was a kid-when this trouble started. But to reach him takes a long time, Kathryn. And we don't have a long time. So--"

He took her elbow and marched her toward the guards. "So you know what to do," he said.
"I hope so," breathed Kathryn Pender, looking very small and very young.
They marched down the wide white pavement, past the motionless guards--
Something was coming toward them. Kathryn held back.
"Come on!" Garrick muttered.
"No, look!" she whispered. "Is that-is that Trumie?"
He looked, then stared.
It was Trumie, larger than life. It was Anderson Trumie, the entire human population of the most-congested-island-for-its-population in the world. On one side of him was a tall dark figure, on the other side a squat dark figure, helping him along. His face was horror, drowned in fat. The bloated cheeks shook damply, wet with tears. The eyes squinted out with fright on the world he had made.
Trumie and his bodyguards rolled up to them and past. And then Anderson Trumie stopped.
He turned the blubbery head and read the sign on the back of the girl. I AM A SPY. Panting heavily, clutching the shoulder of the Crockett robot, be gaped wildly at her.
Garrick cleared his throat. This far his plan had gone, and then there was a gap. There had to be a gap. Trumie's history, in the folder that Roosenburg had supplied, had told him what to do with Trumie; and Garrick's own ingenuity had told him how to reach the man. But a link was missing. Here was the subject, and here was the psychist who could cure him, and it was up to Garrick to start the cure.
Trumie cried out in a staccato bleat: "You! What are you? Where do you belong?"
He was talking to the girl. Beside him, the Crockett robot

murmured: "Reckon she's a spy, Mistuh Trumie. See thet sign ahangin' on her back?"
"Spy? Spy?" The quivering lips pouted. "Curse you, are you Mata Hari? What are you doing out here? It's changed its face," Trumie complained to the Crockett robot. "It doesn't belong here. It's supposed to be in the harem. Go on, Crockett, get her back!"
"Wait!" said Garrick, but the Crockett robot was ahead of him. It took Kathryn Pender by the arm.
"Come along thar," it said soothingly, and urged her across the drawbridge. She glanced back at Garrick, and for a moment it looked as though she were going to speak. Then she shook her head, as if giving an order.
"Kathryn!" yelled Garrick. "Trumie, wait a minute! That isn't Mata Hari!"
No one was listening. Kathryn Pender disappeared into the Private Place. Trumie, leaning heavily on the hobbling Long John Silver robot, followed.
Garrick, coming back to life, leaped after them.
The scarlet-coated guards jumped before him, their shakos bobbing, their crooked little rifles crossed to bar his way.
He ordered: "One side! Out of my way! I'm a human, don't you understand? You've got to let me pass,"
They didn't even look at him; trying to get by them was like trying to walk through a wall of moving, thrusting steel. He shoved and they pushed him back; he tried to dodge and they were before him. It was hopeless.
And then it was hopeless indeed, because behind them, he saw, the drawbridge had gone up.

Sonny Trumie collapsed into a chair like a mound of blubber falling to the deck of a whaler.
Though he made no signal, the procession of serving robots started at once. In minced the maitre d', bowing and waving its graceful hands. In marched the sommelier, clanking its necklace of keys, hearing its wines in their buckets of ice. In came the lovely waitress robots and the sturdy steward robots, with the platters and tureens, the plates and bowls and cups.
They spread a meal-a dozen meals-before him, and he began to eat.
He ate as a penned pig eats, gobbling until it chokes, forcing the food down because there is nothing to do but eat. He ate, with a sighing accompaniment of moans and gasps, and some of the food was salted with the tears of pain he wept into it, and some of the wine was spilled by his shaking hand. But he ate. Not for the first time that day, and not for the tenth.
Sonny Trumie wept as he ate. He no longer even knew he was weeping. There was the gaping void inside him that he had to fill, had to fill; there was the gaping world about him that he had to people and build and furnish . . . and use.
He moaned to himself. Four hundred pounds of meat and lard, and he had to lug it from end to end of his island, every hour of every day, never resting, never at peace! There should have been a place somewhere, there should have been a time, when he could rest. When he could sleep without dreaming, sleep without waking after a scant few hours with the goading drive to eat and to use, to use and to eat . . .
And it was all so wrong!
The robots didn't understand. They didn't try to understand, they didn't think for themselves. Let him take his eyes from any one of them for a single day and everything went wrong. It was necessary to keep after them, from end to end of the island, checking and overseeing and ordering yes, and destroying to rebuild, over and over!
He moaned again and pushed the plate away.
He rested, with his tallow forehead flat against the table, waiting, while inside him the pain ripped and ripped, and finally became bearable again. And slowly he pushed himself up, and rested for a moment, and pulled a fresh plate toward him, and began again to eat.
After a while, he stopped. Not because he didn't want to go on, but because he absolutely couldn't.
He was bone-tired, but something was bothering him-one more detail to check, one more thing that was wrong. Mata Hari. The houri at the drawbridge. It shouldn't have been out of the Private Place. It should have been in the harem, of course. Not that it mattered, except to Sonny Trumie's never-resting sense of what was right.
Time was when the houris of the harem had their uses, but that time was long and long ago; now they were property, to be fussed over and made to be right to be replaced if they were worn, destroyed if they were wrong. But only property, as all of North Guardian was property-as all of the world would be his property, if only he could manage it.
But property shouldn't be wrong.
He signaled to the Crockett robot and, leaning on it, walked down the long terrazzo hall toward the harem. He tried to remember what the houri had looked like. The face didn't matter; he was nearly sure it had changed it. It had worn a sheer red blouse and a brief fed skirt, he was almost certain, but the face--

It had had a face, of course. But Sonny had lost the habit of faces. This one had been somehow different but he couldn't remember just why. Still-the blouse and skirt were red, he was nearly sure. And it had been carrying something in a box. And that was odd, too.
He waddled a little faster, for now he was positive it was wrong.
"Thar's the harem, Mistuh Trumic," said the robot at his side. It disengaged itself gently, leaped forward and held the door to the harem for him.
"Wait for me," Sonny commanded, and waddled forward into the harem halls.
Once he had so arranged the harem that he needed no help inside it; the halls were railed, at a height where it was easy for a pudgy hand to grasp the rail; the distances were short the rooms close together.
He paused and called over his shoulder: "Stay where you can hear me." It had occurred to him that if the houri robot was wrong, he would need Crockett's guns to make it right.
A chorus of female voices sprang into song as he entered the main patio. They were a bevy of beauties, clustered around a fountain, diaphanously dressed, languorously glancing at Sonny Trumie as he waddled inside.
"Shut up!" he shrieked. "Go back to your rooms!"
They bowed their heads and, one by one, slipped into the cubicles.
No sign of the red blouse and the red skirt. He began the rounds of the cubicles, panting, peering into them.
"Hello, Sonny," whispered Theda Bara, lithe on a leopard rug, and he passed on. "I love you!" cried Nell Gwynn, and, "Come to me!" commanded Cleopatra, but he passed them by. He passed Dubarry and Marilyn Monroe, he passed Moll

Flanders and he passed Troy's Helen. No sign of the houri in red--
Yes, there was. He didn't see the houri, but he saw the signs of the houri's presence: the red blouse and the red skirt, lying limp and empty on the floor.
Sonny gasped: "Where are you? Come out here where I can see you!"
Nobody answered Sonny.
"Come out!" he bawled.
And then he stopped. A door opened and someone came out; not an houri, not female; a figure without sex but loaded with love, a teddy-bear figure, as tall as pudgy Sonny Trumie himself, waddling as he waddled, its stubby welcoming arms stretched out to him.
He could hardly believe his eyes. Its color was a little darker than Teddy. It was a good deal taller than Teddy. But unquestionably, undoubtedly, in everything that mattered, it was--
"Teddy," whispered Sonny Trumie, and let the furry arms go around his four hundred pounds.
Twenty years disappeared. "They wouldn't let me have you," Sonny told the teddy-bear.
It said, in a voice musical and warm: "It's all right Sonny. You can have me now, Sonny. You can have everything, Sonny."
"They took you away," he whispered, remembering.
They took the teddy-bear away; he had never forgotten. They took it away and Mother was wild and Father was furious. They raged at the little boy and scolded him and threatened him. Didn't he know they were poor, and Did he want to ruin them all, and What was wrong with him, anyway, that he wanted his little sister's silly stuffed robots when he was big enough to use nearly grown-up goods?

The night bad been a terror, with the frowning, sad robots ringed around and the little girl crying; and what had made it terror was not the scolding-he'd had scoldings-but the worry, the fear and almost the panic in his parents' voices. For what he did, he came to understand, was no longer a childish sin. It was a big sin, a failure to consume his quota--
And it had to be punished.
The first punishment was the extra birthday party.
The second was-shame.
Sonny Trumie, not quite twelve, was made to feel shame and humiliation. Shame is only a little thing, but it makes the victim of it little, too.
The robots were reset to scorn him. He woke to mockery and went to bed with contempt. Even his little sister lisped the catalogue of his failures.
You aren't trying, Sonny, and You don't care, Sonny, and You're a terrible disappointment to us, Sonny.
And finally all the things were true, because Sonny at twelve was what his elders made him.
And they made him . . . "neurotic" is the term; a pretty sounding word that means ugly things like fear and worry and endless self-reproach . . .
"Don't worry," whispered the Teddy. "Don't worry, Sonny. You can have me. You can have what you want. You don't have to have anything else."

Garrick raged through the halls of the Private Place like a tiger. "Kathryn!" he shouted. "Kathryn Pender!"
The robots peeped out at him worriedly and sometimes they got in his way and he bowled them aside. They didn't

fight back, naturally-what robot would hurt a human? But sometimes they spoke to him, pleading, for it was not according to the wishes of Mr. Trumie that anyone but him rage destroying through North Guardian Island. Garrick passed them by.
"Kathryn!" he called. "Kathryn!"
He told himself fiercely: Trumie was not dangerous. Trumie was laid bare in his folder, the one that Roosenburg bad supplied, and he couldn't be blamed; he meant no harm. He was once a little boy who was trying to be good by consuming, consuming, and he wore himself into neurosis doing it; and then they changed the rules on him. End of the ration, end of forced consumption, as the robots took over for mankind at the other end of the farm-and-factory cornucopia. It wasn't necessary to struggle to consume, so the rules were changed.
And maybe Trumie knew that the rules had been changed, but Sonny didn't. It was Sonny, the little boy trying to be good, who had made North Guardian Island.
And it was Sonny who owned the Private Place and all it held-including Kathryn Pender.
Garrick called hoarsely: "Kathryn! If you hear me, answer me!"-
It had seemed so simple. The fulcrum on which the weight of Trumie's neurosis might move was a teddy-bear. Give him a teddy-bear-or, perhaps, a teddy-bear suit, made by night in the factories of Fisherman's Island, with a girl named Kathryn Pender inside-and let him bear, from a source he could trust, the welcome news that it was no longer necessary to struggle, that compulsive consumption could have an end. Then Garrick or any other psychist would clear it all up, but only if Trumie would listen.
"Kathryn!" roared Roger Garrick, racing through a room

of mirrors and carved statues. Because, just in case Trumie didn't listen, just in case the folder was wrong and Teddy wasn't the key-
Why, then, Teddy to Trumie would be only a robot. And Trumie destroyed them by the score.
"Kathryn!" bellowed Roger Garrick, trotting through the silent palace, and at last he heard what might have been an answer. At least it was a voice-a girl's voice, at that. He was before a passage that led to a room with a fountain and silent female robots, standing and watching him. The voice came from a small room. He ran to the door.
It was the right door.
There was Trumie, four hundred pounds of lard, lying on a marble bench with a foam-rubber cushion, the jowled head in the small lap of
Teddy. Or Kathryn Pender in the teddy-bear suit, the sticklike legs pointed straight out the sticklike arm s clumsily patting him. She was talking to him, gently and reassuringly. She was telling him what he needed to know-that he bad eaten enough, that be had used enough, that be bad consumed enough to win the respect of all, and an end to consuming.
Garrick himself could not have done better.
It was a sight from Mother Goose, the child being soothed by his toy. But it was not a sight that fitted in well with its surroundings, for the seraglio was upholstered in mauve and pink, and the paintings that hung about were wicked.
Sonny Trumie rolled the pendulous bead and looked squarely at Garrick. The worry was gone from the fear-filled little eyes.
Garrick stepped back.
No need for him just at this moment. Let Trumie relax for a while, as he bad not been able to relax for a score of years. Then the psychist could pick up where the girl bad been unable to proceed, but in the meantime, Trumic was finally at rest.
The Teddy looked up at Garrick and in its bright blue eyes, the eyes that belonged to the girl named Kathryn, he saw a queer tincture of triumph and compassion.
Garrick nodded, and left, and went out to the robots of North Guardian, and started them clearing away the monstrous child's-eye conception of an empire.
Sonny Trumie nestled his bead in the lap of the teddybear. It was talking to him nicely, so nicely. It was droning away: "Don't worry, Sonny. Don't worry. Everything's all right. Everything's all right." Why, it was almost as though it were real.
It bad been, he calculated with the part of his mind that was razor-sharp and never relaxed, nearly two hours since be had eaten. Two hours! And he felt as though he could go another hour at least maybe two. Maybe-maybe even not cat at all again that day. Maybe even learn to live on three meals. Perhaps two. Perhaps
He wriggled-as well as four hundred greasy pounds can wriggle-and pressed against the soft warm fur of the teddybear. It was so soothing.
"You don't have to eat so much, Sonny. You don't have to drink so much. No one will mind. Your father won't mind, Sonny. Your mother won't mind. . ."
It was very comfortable to bear the teddy bear telling him those things. It made him drowsy. So deliciously drowsy! It wasn't like going to sleep, as Sonny Trumie had known going to sleep for a dozen or more years, the bitterly fought surrender to the anesthetic weariness. It was just drowsy.
And he did want to go to sleep.
And finally, he slept All by himself. Not just the four hundred pounds of blubber and the little tormented eyes, but even the razor-sharp-mind Trumie that lived in the sad, obedient bulk.
It slept.
It had not slept all these twenty years.

What is Kaivala?

 There are three levels of enlightenment.

The first level of enlightenment is Nirvana. This is where we learn to disconnect from judgment, and clearly observe the world.

The second level of enlightenment is Samadhi. This is where we have gathered all of the knowledge about the universe.

The last of the three levels of enlightenment is Kaivala.

Kaivala is when we are completely connected, and we become of service.

Some of us are living our lives and trying to patch problems with Duct Tape. Let's make a permanent change! Join us on the road to Kaivala!

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