Something that wasn't quite narcissism, wasn't quite masturbation.
Endorphins then, that's what he's been missing.
"I can't be this old and still a virgin," Ed snickered. "I mean, you've been with someone, right?
And then the Words were coming again, maddening addiction crawling straight down inside, making him itch, making him want.
"Do we still have cucumbers? Or I guess I could transmute a mold, do you need this dining chair?"
Ed loved his brother, and would take his company as a roommate over anyone in the world — except one; but he made a damn lousy substitute for a girlfriend.