We move through the day like two hands of a clock: sometimes we overlap for a moment, then come apart again, carrying on alone. Everyday exactly the same: the tea, the burnt toast, the crumbs, the silence.
But as I remember it, he looked alternately bored and preoccupied throughout the meal, as if, while one part of him was drinking Bordeaux and cutting his food into bite-sized morsels, the other half was engaged with shepherding a herd of goats across a bone-dry plain.
The more freedom I allow myself as a writer to wander, become lost and go into uncertain territory - and I am always trying to go to the more awkward place, the more difficult place - the more frightening it is, because I have no plan.
I left the library. Crossing the street, I was hit head-on by a brutal loneliness. I felt dark and hollow. Abandoned, unnoticed, forgotten, I stood on the sidewalk, a nothing, a gatherer of dust. People hurried past me. and everyone who walked by was happier than I. I felt the old envy. I would have given anything to be one of them.