Tommy is still crying and still cannot see when he slides against the side of his house. He tugs on his shirt until he can see where he is and wipes his eyes and nose with his sleeve. Patches barks again, and Tommy’s body flushes red and hot. He feels a shameful nakedness. He does not want his mother to wake up and see this. She might scold him and be disappointed, or scream and run away in fear, or hate him forever. Tommy whimpers at all of the possible horrors.
He grabs his windowsill and pulls himself inside. A lush design of dew-stained flowers greets him as he enters; the wallpaper is washed out and nearly invisible in the darkness of the room, but its familiarity cools Tommy’s nerves. As he floats into his bedroom, he presses his palms against the paper daffodils and uses them as a lesson: he can control his movements as long as he has resistance, something to push or pull against. The revelation excites him, but at this moment he is too exhausted and overwhelmed to explore it.
So, for now, Tommy keeps things simple: he closes his eyes and pretends that he is an astronaut, returning to his spaceship and the comfort of friends within. He pushes away from his ceiling and falls to his blanket like a feather against dead air.