He was middle-aged which 
means that the mixture of 
death and life in him was 
still undetermined. And 
all of a sudden he took 
an unwarranted turn—impul- 
sive, convulsive. As in 
those nineteenth-century 
plays where the roof gets 
blown off the convention- 
al house and the audience 
is left to gape at the 
heroine bareheaded—him. 
He has a gift for self- 
serious hyperbole and he 
resorts to it regularly 
to describe and explain 
his behavior. Not that 
anything happened. But 
he stared into something, 
an abyss or a garden, and 
now in the aftermath he’s 
more alone than before. 
He has not been forgiven, 
not that he wants to be.