There’s a sense that time is running out. Our narrator, Simon, is like a man sinking in quicksand. He’s a man of routine. Rising, dressing, travelling to work on the DLR. Every day is the same. His sense of self is slipping away as he becomes (perhaps literally) someone else. It’s a similar story for Dr Benham, stuck in his STD clinic watching a parade of patients come and go. In his parallel story of metamorphosis he’s being spat out by his own life. He too is becoming a different person, from the feet up.