Reciprocity he knows: tit-for-tats, quid-pro-quos. He tallies up each debt repaid; strives to keep a promise made, costs defrayed, his options weighed; does the work to make the grade; and always couples “free” with “trade.” The duple logic of his mind would let no beggar go unfined.
Should disputations come to blows, he always bloodies nose for nose. Should passions wane, he has a knack for handing failing friends the sack. And so he tightens up the slack, he fills the crack, he pays them back: a balance monomaniac, settling each debt or grudge, he tests the scales and weighs the judge.
Blocks of granite in repose have no choice but to oppose pressures delicate or coarse: granite’s something he’d endorse. Basic physics is his source in seeing life as countered force: matter, elbowed from its course, elbows back—in Newton’s writ—equally, and opposite.
An exegesis would disclose the life he chose: like Latin prose, fixed, decided, preterite. That ethics of exchange admit no novel coin, no counterfeit—he’s sure of it. And sure he’ll sit, sunk in his inertial pit, by no assault his ramparts split, by no new star his heavens lit, by no means willing to permit his thralldom to be manumit. No will, no wish to overcome endless equilibrium.