Isaac followed Timmons to a little house by the woods. On the outside it looked much too small to be a house. It was really more the size of a broom closet. But, when Timmons opened the door, it was bigger on the inside.
The little house was still cozy, but there was enough room for a kitchen and a big round wooden table, and a fireplace and a couch, and several rooms besides. Isaac was impressed. “You could have a whole city of houses like this and fit them all on the beach.”
Timmons laughed. “You could if you could find people who want to live here. Most people don’t like going for a walk and forgetting who they are. It’s unsettling, I’m told.”
“You don’t think it’s a little weird?”
“Hmmmm.” Timmons poured two glasses of milk and started spreading nut butter and honey on slices of bread. “It’s what I’m used to,” he said at last. “If you’re used to something, it’s not weird.”
Isaac sipped at the milk. It had an odd flavor and was thin and watery. “What kind of milk is this?” he asked.
“Coconut milk,” Timmons said.
“It tastes weird,” Isaac said.
“I suppose it might be strange for you if it’s not what you’re used to,” Timmons said. He smiled and drank his cup of milk.
“I guess normal isn’t the same for everyone.” It was strange to think about. He sipped the coconut milk. It wasn’t terrible. “Have you always lived here?”
“I don’t remember.”
Isaac sat up straight. “Is it because of the jungle? Am I going to forget where I came from if I stay here?”
“I don’t know,” Timmons said. “I’m not sure how much I don’t remember because I can’t remember what I’ve forgotten. I can’t even remember when I’ve forgotten something.”
Isaac took a bite of the sandwich. It tasted familiar, but not exactly like the ones his mom made. “Maybe you could write things down. Then when you read your notes, you’ll remember and you won’t forget any more.”
“I suppose. But then it would remind me that I’ve forgotten things and I’d be sad. It’s nice not knowing if I’ve forgotten anything. Then I don’t really have any reason to miss the memories I’ve lost.” Timmons took another bite of his sandwich and smiled.
“But aren’t there important things you don’t want to forget. Like your name or where you live or things like that?”
Timmons laughed. “So far so good. I’ve not forgotten them yet. I don’t think I need to worry. And if I forget them later, maybe I didn’t need them after all.”
“Why do you even live here? It seems dangerous.” Isaac ate the last bite of his sandwich without really tasting it.
“Hmmm.” Timmons began clearing the table. “I’m needed here. I help people who get lost and confused in the jungle. I like to help. I like my house.”
Isaac looked around at the cheerful house. It was nice. But it was so quiet. “Aren’t you lonely?”
“I can visit people when I need company. Sometimes, if you don’t get along, having people live close isn’t so nice. You’ll see.”
That sounded ominous. “What do you mean?”
“It’s time to go. If you want to walk across to the next island, you have to go now,” Timmons said sadly.
Isaac stood up and followed Timmons to the door. “Will you be at my party when I find it?”
“Sure, if I remember it,” Timmons said with a smile as he opened the door. Somehow, Isaac didn’t find that completely reassuring.