“The light was punctual. Stars were assembling.
He was interloper in this body, floating on its echoes and tides. Becoming unhitched from the animal. Its ending was nothing like death. During his increasingly rare visits to the clinic, he sensed the weariness he induced in the staff. They would glance at him furtively or frame responses to things his body had said in his absence. They complimented him on his insights or returned physical intimacies he had never initiated. They complained about the lack of pathology. He left the building feeling vindicated somehow.
The night might lead nowhere. He would find himself standing on a bridge looking upriver to the hastily assembled barrages, dimly aware of the reasons for their construction; not minding either way.
C said the future could not be this indifferent. That it might be cancelled yet. But nobody believed her. By whatever aberrant causal loop, now obtained beyond the sea walls and patrols, it was coming back. She was accused of all manner of deviations in this period – of clinging to charms and gimcracks.
He was sombrely informed of his involvement with one of the cabal that passed for rulers here, a woman with no reputation. He sometimes recalls the passions she indulges: a double door at the top of milk white stairs; a slit of artificial light dividing it from the warm glow of the scented candles below. A tinny machinic sound, masking a low voice whose owner repeated some verbal formula or prayer. He was being inducted into something.”