D has crossed the border into Belgium. In a few days he will have exhausted all of the money left to him and, barring some ingenious stroke of luck, will be destitute and without hope in a land where he has no friends, where nobody knows who he is, and all the people who do know him think that he is in Japan, holidaying with a girlfriend he made up.
He is alone in the truest sense that he can imagine. A man in a room by himself, in an empty house, on an overgrown street, in a town that as no other inhabitants – this man is not alone but in blessed solitude. To be truly alone, or so D reasons, is to be part of of an enormous group of individuals all of whom do not know you and cannot easily communicate with you. The noises of the people of Belgium are, for them, speech and meaning and expressions of self, but for D they are, at best, melodies.
The money he has will last him through one or two nights in hostels, some cheap (very cheap) meals, and a bottle of two of wine. That’s all. He has a large pack which he can use as a pillow, and inside the pack is a blanket for shelter and some crude cooking implements. He leaves the border station and walks at right angle to the road, hoping soon to find wilderness. D does not plan to camp out in the forests of Belgium – he reminds himself that he is not looking for solitude – but for tonight, at least, he will. he needs to see stars before he plunges into the cities and loses himself amongst the office building, museums, cafes and shops.
Just a few stars, right before he sleeps, is all he wants. He isn’t greedy.
Just a few stars. Please.
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The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website. I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.