He gazes through sunlight's buttresses, back down the refectory at the others, wallowing in their plenitude of bananas, thick palatals of their hunger lost somewhere in the stretch of morning between them and himself. A hundred miles of it, so suddenly. Solitude, even among the meshes of this war, can when it wishes so take him by the blind gut and touch, as now, possessively. Pirate's again some other side of a window, watching strangers eat breakfast.
In the eighteenth century it was often convenient to regard man as a clockwork automaton. In the nineteenth century, with newtonian physics pretty well assimilated and a lot of work in thermodynamics going on, man was looked on as a heat engine, about 40 per cent efficient. Now in the twentieth century, with nuclear and subatomic physics a going thing, man had become something which absorbs x-rays, gamma rays and neutrons.
But a few choosing to venture deeper into the painful corridors of their affliction, found after a while that they could now grind and polish ever more exotic surfaces, hyperboloidial and even stranger, eventually including what we must term imaginary shapes (which some preferred to term invisible).
It's been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But i tell you there is no such message, no such home -- only the millions of last moments . . . Nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.
A number of frail girls... Prisoners in the top room of a circular tower, embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void, seeking hopelessly to fill the void: for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships and forests of the earth were contained in this tapestry, and the tapestry was the world.
For a moment she'd wondered if the seal around her sockets were tight enough to allow the tears simply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry. She could carry the sadness of the moment with her that way forever, see the world refracted through those tears, those specific tears, as if indices as yet unfound varied in important ways from cry to cry.
But on the way home tonight, you wish you'd picked him up, held him a bit. Just held him, very close to your heart, his cheek by the hollow of your shoulder, full of sleep. As it it were you who could, somehow, save him. For the moment not caring who you're supposed to be registered as. For the moment, anyway, no longer who the caesars say you are.