By now it was too late to turn around. Billy had reached that point, both physically and psychologically, where he had taken just enough steps over the midway point not to be able to turn back. He was now closer to his destination than to the starting point. Though the comfort of the familiar was capable of coaxing him back, he found the allure of the unknown drawing him in, like a fish on an invisible line. And like a fish on land, Billy flopped to the earth and fought in raspy gasps for his breath. At first the heavens above swam and swirled in his vision, as though God was stirring them with a giant spoon, but soon his throbbing temples calmed along with his breathing and a sense of tranquility unlike anything he had known before overcame him. For the first time in memory, Billy was unaware of his mounds of obesity. His utter exhaustion had numbed his body completely, freeing his spirit, allowing it to hover away from his flesh slumped on the ground, and Billy understood what it felt like to be alive. A trickle of sweat running from his brow to neck brought him back. Its surprising coolness made him want to reach up and wipe it away. Instead, he lay completely still and allowed the experience to happen.