A surreal story of a day (and the whole life) of a man in a dehumanizing corporate world.


  • "Forlesen" sounds like the German word for "forgotten," but it means "read-out" (German: vorlesen).
  • The Webster Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) has an entry about forlesen and relates it to forlorn.
  • All the character names follow a rigid, hierarchical pattern based on alphabetization. Last names begin with one letter later than first names, and each new generation appears to be named one letter later. E.g., G1=AB, G2=BC, G3=CD, G4=DE, and G5=EF, which is Forlesen's generation. (Robert Borski on
  • One day has 240 ours.
  • The yes/no part at the end -- It's very likely these are the answers to the archetype question:
Doctor          -- No
Priest          -- Yes
Philosopher     -- No
Theologian      -- Yes
Actor           -- Yes
Warlock         -- No
National Hero   -- Yes
Aged Loremaster -- Yes
Novelist        -- Maybe

Forlesen gets all nine answers because he didn't specify which one he wanted.

  • The story can NOT take place over the course of one day, despite appearing to do so. Forlesen arrives at his home at approximately 129 ours as his lunch break is from 121 to 141 ours. Later, he is given an "interdepartmental training transfer" at 125 ours (actually, at 125 HOURS, the only time it is spelled this way, also the only time pronounced by the narrator).
  • Forlesen's wife has apparently been reading the brown book. She tells him that he will get a promotion after lunch and that the children will be home at 130 ours "...that's what the book says." Also, when Forlesen suggests that she read she responds that she can't because it makes her too nervous.
  • Abraham Beale, the hitchhiker, is also apparently the founder of the company or at least identical to him, as Forlesen notices his face over the name of the founder of the company, Adam Bean.
  • Wild, Semi-baseless, likely incorrect interpretation of 'Forlesen'

Unresolved Questions

  • Why is it that Forlesen and his wife seem to be the only ones who cannot remember their past?
  • What about the shifting columns Forlesen sees before the police find him?

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