“Ten thousand” is a punchy, raw number. Ten thousand of a thing is a staggeringly large amount. The mind tricks itself into believing it is countable.
If I wanted to, I could recall the years I walked this hall, same as they are, day in and day out. But I do not want to, and so I simply say—to myself because there is no one else—that I have walked this hall for ten thousand years.
My mind could not handle “a million years” without admitting that it is equivalent to eternity. Therefore it could not possibly be a million.
And there was no one to say otherwise. There were the two clocks, one over the table in the hall, and one by the bed, always offset from each other by one minute. I could not tell which was correct, if either were, or if it mattered.
There was a time once, which seemed legendary, when I recalled the shape of things other than these halls. The discrepancy in the clocks ground in my mind, and I attempted to set one to keep with the othe