After the events at Middle Harling, Al’s grip upon his sanity slips considerably. He loses sense of time and self. His hair grows and his nails curl. The days are nights, and the weeks are months, and those months are years - mornings scattered and picked at random by Something he knows and accepts as outside of human comprehension.
He simply stops going to his job at Cambridge University and dedicates himself to a name scrawled in a tiny notebook - to the web that surrounds it and the darkness that huddles over the world like the curdled film on top of rancid milk.
His body melts away like a candle, food is an afterthought, but his insanity gives him a sick relief. Spiders and scorpions, the dead rat rotting behind his apartment wall, the mold on forgotten food. He needs to stay inside, he needs to write and read and when he feels his body curling at the wick, he scrambles outside and collects vermin in jars to snack upon and store away. Jars upon jars. He smirks wryly at the cupboards, his own collection of perverse preservatives. He might not know what the date is, but he can still plan ahead. He’s still present enough for that.