Alex speaks a language no-one else alive understands. Well, we call him Alex, but we don’t know what he calls himself. He’s always refused to signal this.
It’s not that he has any hesitation about speaking. He will happily speak all day. Just that nobody knows what he’s saying. We detect pleasure, frustration, thoughtfulness and a range of other states. But the argument he’s advancing so passionately eludes us.
Today, though, Alex is silent. Is he angry? Sad? Or has he simply finished reciting the entire history of his race?