Although he had always sensed it, it had only been a feeling, call it a hunch, Dan carried with him everyday of his life; there was no way to prove it. Empirically.
X-rays showed nothing unusual about his insides.
His being, as far as Dan could tell, was kept together at the centre of his torso. Every part of him, drawn together by countless red strings, hinging on a single, rusty safety pin.
Since he was five, Dan could feel the pin inside slipping, the strings, taught, fighting to pull away. If one went, the others would follow. Instantly. Here one moment, gone the next.
When Dan was stressed the strings would tighten, causing the pin to slip further. When he was relaxed, the tension was status quo. He could feel the pin slipping but ever so slowly that his attention would drift to more mundane things.
When Dan was 27 it snapped and Dan came undone. It was not at all painful nor nearly as dramatic as he had thought it would be. It was rather anticlimactic and quiet. Everyone who witnessed it, saw Dan drop to the ground without warning. Land with a thump.
Dan, however, felt his body and mind give, effortlessly, unravelling unceremoniously like yarn, falling on the asphalt silently. It was not at all unpleasant.