The date is September 3rd, 1975.
On this mild-weathered day in the city of Paris, a man takes out his watch and carefully winds it to the correct time of exactly 6:28pm and 32 seconds.
At this precise moment, a blue fly makes the mindless decision to take flight.
It remains blissfully unaware of the lives of everyone it passes inside of its short, 6-week lifespan.
The wind picks up and makes a tablecloth dance in its arms. A ripe fig rolls under the cart of a fruit stand, away from its owner. A trapeze artist is suspended in midair, before she plummets from the grasp of her partner.
And as all of this occurs in the city of Paris, an extraordinary little boy named Caleb Widogast is born.
Caleb Widogast has always been what his parents would refer to as a very peculiar child.
When one is raised in between the distant, yet ever-watchful, eyes of an iceberg and a neurotic, a child in this environment learns quite quickly how to occupy themselves in whatever way they deem fit.
With books and coins and faces scribbled onto open skin in semi-permanent ink (to the utmost despair of his mother) - a seed of whimsy is sown inside of them.
Although Caleb knows that his father and mother surely love him, he wasn't quite sure that they loved him more than their distinct, shared passion for the art of putting things away carefully.
It was with a dull, unfortunate shock that they found that a son could not be tidied away quite so neatly.
At the ripe age of 6, Caleb Widogast finds himself afflicted by a dose of inexplicable melancholy.
And as children are ought to crave in such situations, he would like for his father to hold him in his arms occasionally.
In place of this, the only physical contact he ever makes with his father is during his regular monthly check up.
Starved ravenous of affection, even the firm press of a stethoscope to his chest is enough to make his blood roar in his ears, and the really-quite-average muscle of his heart fling itself wildly against the constraints of his rib cage.
In a rather detached fashion, the young red-haired boy notes the beat of panic in his father's voice as he suddenly calls out for his wife with an agitation that is deeply abnormal juxtaposed against his usual stoicism.
"...Amandine! I think our son's heart is broken!"
From then on out, Caleb is homeschooled by his mother, his only companion a goldfish whom he promptly christens 'Fluffy'.
And despite the companionship of his open-mouthed, unblinking little friend, his loneliness grows exponentially.