Every time I manage to pull back from the edge, I leave a small part of me inescapably there. That is the cost of it; the admission paid for each visit. I can keep doing this, I know, for some time yet - but there will come a point where more of me remains than returns.
And yet - it’s such a small loss. Like the barest scrape rubbing off an atomic layer. No one will notice; I can barely feel it myself. So what price is it really, in the end?
- - -
The boy watches sadly as the hollow man drifts past.