He tied it in a loop around his wrist and made it as tight as he could without cutting off his circulation.
"Are you allright?" he heard someone ask. He turned towards the voice with a triumphant smile. "Of course!" he began to say. Then he looks down at his wrist and it's gone! It does that all the time.
"Are you sure you're allright?" He just waves her away. She won't understand he says. He feels lost as he walks out of the meeting room, not sure where to go although he's worked here for several years. Then he sees it, gleaming brightly ahead of him. He leaps after it and seizes the golden tassels in both fists. And that's when he hears her laughing, that coarse, throaty laugh with merry tinkles on the end. It's her two-tone laugh and she's still got it. He feels her tug on the rope, gently at first and then faster and faster. She must be using an overarm action, with one foot wedged on Mars and the other in a crater on Venus. He catches a glimpse of her and his mind goes blank because he doesn't have any words to describe her. Not one. But she is glowing all over and her hair is as black as the sky. She tosses her head and a strand of hair cuts him across the face.
"It's OK," he says but it's not. It stings like she's poured lemon juice into the open wound.
"Just a little more," he hears her say.
"That's just how it is," and her voice comes to him from far, far away.
He keeps hunting for that silvery thread, the one with shimmering tassels on the end. Sometimes it's as fine as if a spider spun it. At others, it's as thick as the ropes that pull the fishing boats into the harbour. He holds one end in his hand and tugs gently and she always tugs back. With one foot wedged on Mars and the other in a crater, somewhere on Venus.