In those moments, my appetite for quiet reading would suddenly disappear. I'd abruptly jump to my feet and yell with abandon at the top of my lungs. I lacked the composure to bring forth any studied verse or intelligible tune. All I could do was scream like a savage. On one occasion I seized K's neck from behind. What would he do, I asked, if I pushed him off and into the sea. He didn't stir. His back still to me, he replied that it would suit him fine, that I should go ahead and do it. I immediately withdrew my hands from his neck.
K's frayed nerves, by that time, seemed to be greatly improved. My own, in contrast, were more and more on edge. Seeing K so self-assured, I couldn't help but envy him. I loathed him too. Maybe it was his evident disinterest in my affairs. I saw this disinterest as a sign of his newfound confidence. This confidence he showed by no means warmed my heart. My doubts had the best of me, and I needed to know what lay behind it. Had he recovered his old optimism, his sense of a bright future to be gained through study and exertion? If it were just that, then his and my interests were in no way at odds. In fact, I should feel pleased for having helped him so. However, if his peace of mind involved the young lady of our house, then I would never forgive him. Oddly enough, he seemed fully unaware of my affection toward her. Of course, I was not one to parade my passions. And K, by his nature, was obtuse in such regards. It was partly for this reason that I had brought him into the house without concern.