You are on page 1of 13

Beaufort Street

The following are excerpts from some papers I found while walking
near the river embankment. When I say papers it was a sort of journal. It
was as if someone had been keeping notes for something, a novel, a
paper, something they were planning to write.
I found it on a Sunday in late January. I had nothing much to do, and
thinking I needed some exercise, decided to take a walk. On seeing it
lying in the grass I first thought it nothing special. It appeared to be
nothing other than a bundle of three a4 writing pads held together with
elastic bands and covered in a piece of clear plastic. I was almost about to
pass when something caught my attention.
Beside it lay one of those photocards. You know the type, rail or public
transport, or some other such amenity. It was a picture of a young man,
probably in his late twenties or early thirties. He had a somewhat familiar
to his face. I immediately felt I had seen those eyes before. I felt, for a
moment, he was someone I knew.
The card was partially damaged, presumably by rain and sun, as it was
bleached and faded. I lifted up the bundle of writing pads. They were
relatively unscathed. Perhaps the plastic saved them. Apart from some
mud and dirt on the cover, a little yellowing along the edges of pages, the
contents appeared well preserved. I assumed the card had some relation
to the diary. Both were lying on the same patch of ground, one on top of
the other. I searched around for any other items I could find. There were
none: only some rubbish. The kind one always finds in these places;
papers, cigarette boxes, discarded tickets, plastic wrappings, dented soft-
drink cans.
It would be a strange irony if the photocard had in fact nothing to do
with the diary; a coincidence that they lay there together. What for
instance would I have thought had the face been surly, heavy-set, the
rough face of a labourer, or a beer drinking thug? Or what would I have
thought had I seen a sallow face, dark hair slicked back with just a little
too much oil, smooth skin, a pencil thin moustache: the look of the
dubious intellectual?
Would I have been as interested? Would I then have read the same
meaning into the lines I later read so carefully? I cannot be sure.
Enough speculation. I began to leaf curiously through the pages. I
glanced quickly over their contents. I was about to throw them back to
the ground when something caught my attention. It was a description of
an event, a happening, something that seemed to carry with it an
uncanny resonance, an uneasy sense of knowing. I started to read there
and then, somewhat shaken, going back again and again over the words.
I confess to taking everything, card and writing pads, home, and
guiltily, compulsively, reading into the small hours of the morning. Yet

1
who wrote them and where the author came from was never made clear.
It is still not clear.
When I reluctantly reported my find to the local police, they had no
record of such a missing object. Indeed they seemed rather annoyed I
would attempt to take up their time with what they evidently considered a
question of little importance. I did manage to convince them to try and
trace the numbers on the card, still just about readable. They too turned
up a blank file.
The effort of trying to make sense of the text, of trying to impose some
sort of coherency on it, has not been too difficult. Yet though dated for
day and month, the year of all entries has been omitted.
I have worked from extensive photocopies the police were kind enough
to permit me to make before taking the documents into their custody.
I have presented it in its apparent order. It is how I have come to read
it. I have preserved, where possible, the original names or place names.
The period most reproducible spans forty-one days: from mid
November to late December. Where necessary I have drawn upon my
powers of interpretation. I hope it shall be read, bearing these factors in
mind.

November 12. I awoke this morning to the sound of lightly falling rain.
It seemed before I was even conscious, I could feel it in every cell of my
body. It was soft and fine, and penetrated the dawn light.
As I lay in the dark, I was aware of my aloneness. I could imagine how
things looked outside. The paving stones dark-grey, the leaves piled up
against the edge of the building, their colours of yellow, gold and brown
enriched by the damp. Already there must have been people about. Yet
the silence of the building was overpowering.

I got up and walked to the window. I pulled back the curtains and saw
the black shape of the fire exit. I could see no one, and hear no one: only
the sound of the rain dripping from the metal steps. It was as if I had
woken in another world. There was nothing except my memories from the
previous day. There was nothing except my memories of other times
looking out this window to reassure me it was in fact a living world. I
pulled up a chair and sat.
The trees were nearly bare and the narrow path that wound its way
around the back of the building was deserted. The shapes of other
buildings, curtained windows, furniture no longer used left to age in back
gardens, all stood silently in the morning's greyness.
I thought then of the size of the city. How it spread like a great
tentacled organism, gradually acquiring all that stood in its path: buildings
upon buildings. Roads upon roads. Everywhere its accidental shapes and
circles, all waiting the animating touch of its inhabitants.

2
November 13. It has been bright and sunny all day. The sort of sun
you get in November. It is as if the sun is somehow frailer, and this in turn
contrasts with the pale blue of the sky.
I walked in the park at lunchtime. The grass was very green and still
damp after the light morning frost. The richness and the quantity of fallen
leaves were almost unbelievable. I walked under the trees and felt as if I
became somehow weightless by just being there.

Coming home this evening, along the street, I was intrigued by the
pattern of lights, the density of bodies. Everywhere people were walking,
hurrying, stepping in or out of buses. Yet nowhere could I distinctly hear
the sound of footsteps. It was like a vast army of insects with only the
traffic as a backdrop against which they all moved. I went to a phone-box
to call Anna. There was no reply. She must still be away.

November 14. I do not like returning to the emptiness of my building.


Sometimes after a difficult day, the aloneness that greets me when I open
the door is mocking.
I went to the station and bought a newspaper, thinking, I would sit in a
bar and have something to drink while reading.

November 15. I took a half-day from work. I felt I had enough. I came
home early and made something to eat. Afterwards I sat listening to
music. I feel asleep on the sofa and woke about two in the morning, stiff
and cold.

November 18. Going down the stairs to the Underground this


morning, stepping over papers, discarded tickets, following the crowd, all
seemingly with the same edgy faces, I suddenly felt sick to the stomach.
The station seemed so grimy and dirty. The tiles on the wall were old.
As I waited for the train to rush from the tunnel I was aware of a
heaviness in the air. The sound of so many commuters echoed eerily
through the tunnels and up and down the escalators. I was still sleepy and
wanted to smoke a cigarette. When the train appeared, the rush of its
motor diminished everything else. Watching it I was aware of the sweat on
my forehead. I was aware of my own discomfort.

November 19. No work today. Called in sick. It is cold and frosty this
morning. I am writing over breakfast. In front of me is half a cup of coffee,
two pieces of toast with marmalade, some fruit and a hard-boiled egg. I
have not shaved and neither have I showered.
I am sitting with my feet against the table. The heating is on full so I
am comfortable in just my shorts and a t-shirt.
Earlier I listened to the radio, to the morning news. There was nothing
much to report: the usual reports: public-spending cutbacks, minor
incidents, local occurrences, and a civil war that threatens the stability of
the eastern part of Europe.

3
I wish I were more interested. I wish I could take it more seriously.
Instead I follow it rather offhandedly from the comfort of my kitchen. Here
I am sitting half-dressed listening to what for someone, somewhere, must
be nothing short of disaster. What am I really thinking about?
I am wondering if Anna is back from the north. I want to see her. I need
to see her. I have missed her.

November 20. About six this evening a friend phoned and asked if I
wanted to go for a drink. I had nothing planned so we arranged to meet at
eight in a café in the city’s west-end. He was already there when I arrived.
We decided to go a bar he knew behind the opera. It was much quieter
there. We ordered two beers and sat down in a corner to talk. He seemed
agitated.

November 21. Anna is back. She left a message on my answering


machine.

This morning I walked along the river. In a city this vast, one would
expect to see more shipping traffic. It is not so. Now this long and famous
river is a stage for an ever-expanding tourist industry. Now it appears
there are only tour companies. I cannot say I am impressed.
To know this city one must live here. One must experience its myriad
frustrations. One must walk its streets day in, day out. No visit, no guided
tour can ever come close to revealing its core.
This is a city with two hearts. It is mean and generous, garrulous and
withdrawn. It offers much and denies a lot. Its history is one of commercial
expansion and political drive. Alongside its grandeur, its elegance exists
squalor and poverty. Its largeness belies its smallness. To walk its streets,
to ride its Underground, one cannot but be aware of its past. No short visit
can reveal that. Only on the fringes, in the hidden areas, does one begin
to approach the contradictory energy that has makes it. To live here, to
come home each evening in its rush hour, the collar of your shirt already
grimy, your hands sweating, to stand in its tight spaces staring into the
eyes of a stranger, is to understand it. It is neither splendid nor squalid. It
exists and it breathes in its own crowded way. It unexpectedly inspires
and frustratingly disappoints.
This morning it was quiet. The river seemed timeless. It stretched out
to either side of me, wide and lined with buildings old and new. The
achievement, the success was there to see. Then the sun came up. It
silhouetted the buildings and created an impression of great complexity.
There was no running from it.
Crossing a bridge, a train rattled noisily. It headed out to the suburbs.
The city was already alive. Under my feet leaves crunched. Here and
there papers and bits of rubbish blew across the pavement. The benches
on the embankment were empty. The cold was touchable.
I walked, thinking of the river flowing every day to sea. I thought of
how many lives have taken place along this river’s banks. I imagined my
footsteps tracing a path that though unique, was lost and obscured by all

4
the other paths that could be traced along this embankment. If I could
pick one of those lives out of time, what would I find? What similarities
would there be? Would I find a life that paralleled mine in any way?
Lives swallowed by history. Each city, each documentation of a past
carried out at the expense of the individuality of the inhabitants. Would
the telling of one life reveal anything other than that I already know? Is it
that when we get down to the details of individual lives, we find their
particularity goes beyond that of cities? Is a city only what we make of it
in our minds?

November 22. Talked to Anna on the phone this evening. I wanted to


call her all day. Each time I went to the phone I was distracted by
something at work.
When I left my office I went straight to the nearest call-box. I kept
bumping against a bag of books I had left on the floor. Our conversation
was marked by long silences. There was no tension, just a frequency of
spaces. I knew what I wanted to say. And she knew what I wanted to say.
We both knew I should not say it. We skirted around this issue with a
number of vague comments and questions.
I could imagine her mouth against the receiver, the unusual way she
had of putting her tongue up against her corner teeth. I wondered if she
was sitting the way she sometimes did, her hand curled beneath her chin.
What were her eyes doing? What things were they also longing to say?
We took our time. We let our phone conversation meander slowly
through forty units. We arranged to meet in a café tomorrow. We did not
know how to say goodbye. It somehow seemed so formal. In the end we
agreed just to put the phone down and wait until three pm tomorrow.

November 23. At first it was raining: cloudy and misty. It seemed to


hang about the city. I did not feel it was a day for going out. About eleven
thirty it began to clear a bit.

I went to the supermarket and bought some groceries. I cleaned up the


apartment and generally got things into some kind of order. Living alone
one tends to get lazy. I did not know whether I would spend the night here
or at Anna's.

I walked slowly to where I was to meet her. I was thinking about us, of
how long we had known each other, of the days we had spent in this city.
There are many places we consider our place. For us they have a
personal meaning. Yet we probably share them with many others.

She was sitting looking a little lost. Her hair was falling across her face
and she was wearing that funny raincoat. She did not see me coming in so
I stood for a minute and looked at her. The fairness of her face, the sort of
nervous way she has of moving, simultaneously graceful and a little
awkward. Everything seemed so familiar then, so normal as if we had
always been standing beside each other.

5
There is always this space, this slight distance when we have not been
together for some time. It seems I grow flat, I become vague and
something threatens my balance.
She saw me. She smiled suddenly and spontaneously and with a trace
of shyness. I kissed her cheek. I smelt her perfume. I felt the softness of
her skin and sensed the warmth of her body.
She asked how I was. She told me her work had been tiring.
We held hands across the table. I told her I had not been doing much;
reading the newspapers, going to work, sleeping and waiting.
When we got up to leave I watched her walk on ahead of me. I thought
of how her movement, how when she had smiled at me, destroyed the
doubts. I felt reassured and suddenly happy.
As we stepped onto the pavement I took her arm and pulled her close
to me.

November 24. We woke late this morning. The sun was streaming in
the window. I lay for a while and then got up and went out to pick up the
Sunday papers. Anna made some breakfast, and we stayed in bed till
noon reading.

November 26. The radio is on. I am listening carefully. It is an old


song. I remember it from when I was younger. I am catapulted out of the
present and into the past. I am standing and listening to how I once was. I
am standing again in the living room of my parent’s house. I can see the
leaves of the willow tree in the garden in the morning sun. I can see the
shadow of the leaves on the lawn. I can hear bird song. There is a feeling
of nostalgia. The song finishes. I wait a couple of seconds. I instinctively
expect to hear the next song that was on the recording I owned. I am back
there, back in the living room of my parent’s house.
There is no other song. The voice of the radio announcer brings me
back to where I am: in the kitchen of Anna's apartment in some non-
descript section of this large city.
The juice squeezer is squeezing the oranges. The toast has popped
from the toaster. The frost is thawing on the windows; and I am standing
grappling with a sudden feeling of loss.

November 27. Quite day at work.

November 28. Week nearly at an end.

November 30. Yesterday evening, Friday, we went to the cinema and


later to eat. We drank a lot of wine and took a taxi home.
Driving through the city at two in the morning it seemed we were
crossing the deck of a great half-empty ship. Everywhere people stood
cold and pale, huddled into their winter clothing under the night sky. Old

6
newspapers mingled with bodies and blew down streets. One could
understand the electronic scream that permeates the airwaves.
At night this city floats on a great sea: the collective sea of a planet. Its
energy, its drive is tangible. The smallest change of weather, the slightest
change of posture, is enough to communicate a shift. It brings sensitivity
and a new direction in an unending voyage.
This sea chatters endlessly in bleeps and scratches, in pulses and non-
pulses. It babbles into the black vacuum of space. Airwaves that once
carried only birds, prevailing winds, the pollination of pastures, cackle with
voice and counter voice, with snatches of music, advertisements, rumour,
and gossip. They build like a great electro-magnetic wall over which it is
sometimes difficult to hear.
Strange to sit in a taxi and watch this slip by like an excerpt from
someone else's movie: two in the morning, and a little drunk. Anna is lying
asleep against me on the back seat.

December 1. We went walking in the park this morning: a windy and


raw day.

December 2. Sat on the Underground this morning, squashed in


against the window. It was a typical Monday morning, neutral and grey,
with that air of sullen acceptance. In front of me were the headlines of a
newspaper. Continuing violence on streets that as a child I knew. Streets
where I spent happy carefree summers are now stained with blood and
hatred. Patrolled by Armoured Personal Vehicles: scanned by radar and
high-tech listening devices: electronic ears in place of human ears. The
voices drowned by sound bite. By politicking. Words wrenched from their
context.
It was about five hundred to six hundred kilometres from where I sat
hurtling underground at that moment. It felt a lot closer. Distance
somehow diminished by personal memory.

December 3. Christmas is approaching. The lights are now going up


on the streets. I find it a little ersatz. There is something lacking.
We would like to go away for a couple of days in the New Year. It
depends on Anna's papers. She does not know how she stands with her
visa.

December 4. I came south and she came west. We met here on an


April evening when we both got into a lift taking us from the Underground
to the street. She dropped her passport and I ran after her. When she
turned around she looked so beautiful and so sad. I told her I had never I
had never met anyone from there before.

December 5. If I talk to her about home and how she feels about it,
she becomes rather wistful. She does not say much, but I sense there is
still a deep attachment.

7
She describes it in terms of heavy, foggy days in winter, made heavier
by industrial pollution. Yet there is the beauty and freshness of arriving
spring. If I try to imagine her there, I see her as if still in a dream.
She paces the cobblestone square in front of the famous clock-tower.
Or she sits in her cramped office looking longingly through an ochre tinted
window. She is already wearing that funny raincoat that sits so temptingly
against her lightly sunburned neck. She is moving in the dream as if the
dream itself was moving somewhere. I feel I am looking at her through a
glass sphere or a stretch in the fabric of space. I can see the blue-green
ovals of her eyes set so delicately in her face.

December 6. If she talks to me about where I was born, I can only


describe it as a presence. I do not think of it much yet it is there. On days
when I feel the impersonality of the city wear me down, I find myself
walking in places I knew when I was young. It seems I have become a
stranger again, right within the centre of all that has become familiar.
I tell her about the mountains and the sudden shifts of light. I tell her
about the tiny back streets and the rain sweeping in off the sea. I tell her
about the cranes and the shipyards. I tell her about a city that is no longer
my city yet refuses to lie down and go away.

December 7. If she asks why I left, what can I say? As a boy I watched
the boats leaving port to cross the short, difficult sea. Somehow I always
felt the necessity. Felt I was born to leave. It seemed the only step. I
would walk along the coast and gaze expectantly into the horizon. What
did I imagine, what did I expect to see? What voice told me I would not
find myself till I left?

December 8. If I ask her why she left she answers with passion. All her
life there was a frontier across her mind. She felt she lived in a lost city.
She always dreamed one day the barriers would fall. With her camera, she
crossed three countries on a night train.

December 9. Anna sitting by the window in the morning sun. Her face
is not made up. Her eyes are bright and soft in the cold winter light. Her
hair is uncombed and she is curled up, her feet underneath her, reading a
magazine. She looks at me and says she is glad to be here.

December 10. Anna sitting in the park on a winter’s day. The green of
the grass and the bare trees are the only backdrop; there is the red of her
lips, her light, brown hair.
Her hands are gloved and hold the book she has nearly finished
reading. A leather shoulder bag, a bag that looks as though it has grown
here with her is on her knee. I see her leather shoes, now wrinkled, and a
loose floppy hat is pulled down over her eyes.
On her coat is a piece of jewellery inset with an amethyst; subtle and
elusive, clear and direct. Her legs are crossed. She is sitting at the far end
of a park bench lost in the words she is reading.

8
She does not hear my footsteps on the smooth stone path. She is not
aware of the ducks in the nearby pond.
When I sit down beside her on the bench, she looks up a little
surprised. She smiles and kisses me on the mouth.

December 11. Anna close up: the elasticity of her lips. The spray of
light freckles across her nose. Her teeth are even and close together: the
slightly round end of her nose.

December 12. Anna at three in the morning sleeping quietly, her


breathing deep, her hair loose, the sheets only half covering her. Lying
beside me with her arms around me, her mouth slightly open. On the
streets there is nothing but silence.

December 13. I went to the train station this morning to check on


tickets. It was raining heavily. Anna called me at work. We met later and
had lunch.

December 16. It is raining again today. I sit and look out the window
of my office to the street below. There is the usual stream of traffic. An old
woman is looking through a rubbish bin on the side of the pavement. The
taxi drivers blow their horns at the slightest provocation. The red buses
move by more or less regularly. Umbrellas scurry here and there. People
disappear in and out of doors. The rain falls continually. It runs down the
windows, across the pavement and into the gutters at the side of the
street.

December 17. Staying in my own apartment. Anna will come over


tomorrow evening.

I slept badly during the night. Strange dreams. At one point I seemed
to be drifting down a river on a small boat.
I woke about four and could not get back to sleep. I lay there, trying to
get a hold of how I felt, trying to get a hold on that sense I sometimes
have of the ground moving from beneath my feet. Something about my
life here is a point of reference. It is the core of where I am actually going.
I stayed in bed for about another hour and then got up and had an early
breakfast.
Snatches of the dream remained with me for the rest of the day. A
strange echo of relevance, meaning.

December 18. It snowed yesterday evening. The city is sombre and


bitterly cold this morning.

December 19. I am home early. It is now late afternoon. Already the


streets are changing into shadow, into pinpoints of light, made and

9
unmade. The sky to the east has cleared. It is dark blue and flecked with
violet clouds. Yesterday’s snow is still on the streets.
Sometimes I am struck by a sense of living backwards. I feel I am
somehow stepping outside the world and yet immersing myself in it all the
more intensely. It is as if I have experienced this scene, somewhere else,
at some other time, in some other way. My footsteps echo like they were
echoing from another time.
If I open the window and look into the street below, the murmur of the
distant traffic assumes an expression of its own. It seems to be talking
with sadness, as if each car was a voice, and each voice were speaking to
me. Yet when I listen I cannot catch what is being said. Instead I am aware
of a sense of estrangement.
In the kitchen the darkness descends. The light bulb burns harshly from
its place in the wall. I stand in the middle of the room, my arms stretched
out, my hands reaching into the air.
All around are people and yet the spaces between us seem as vast as
lifetimes. Now and then I hear a radio, a step on the stairs, an opening or
shutting door, the voice of a child. Yet everything seems to come from
afar. I feel I am wrapped in a cocoon of silence.
On the floor is a pair of Anna’s shoes. Her book and perfume are on the
table. In the bedroom the bed is unmade, and a suitcase sits half open
beside the wardrobe. Newspapers lie here and there, after-shave, a
magazine, socks, a couple of scribbled lines on some foreign notepaper,
little things that in a way define me, but are also the common currency of
many others. The sense of threads of life interweaving and intertwining
across many lives is one I cannot easily shake off.
Each life is a history and each history is the accumulation of the
events, illusions, fallacies, and facts of all lives. I carry within me my own
history. Am I at each moment of the day, at each turn of the corner,
creating new possibilities for myself? Each time I kiss Anna, each time I
pull her close to me, am I returning to a thread, a vein to which I have
returned many times before?
Are those decisive moments in my life, the dropping of a passport on
the street, the running after a complete stranger, only infused with the
sense of meaning I choose to give them? Do I write my own history from
some deep inner sense of what I feel it should be? Or do I construct it in
retrospect, demanding it fit the pattern that most vindicates my present
position?

December 20. I have been living in this apartment for two years now
and still I live out of a suitcase. To see me walk on the street, my shirt, my
tie, my raincoat, my leather shoes, one would probably place me in
another world. I live a double life.
Each morning I walk past the porter of my office building to the fourth
floor. Each morning as I enter the lift, I alter a part of my personality. I
mask myself and assume the face of my colleagues.

10
December 21. This city that I can almost taste, this city in which I
have spent years, is it only a part of a journey? I envy the permanence of
others. Their lives are solid, their blindness something to be rewarded. I
live in a continual state of flux and influx.
If I grasp too hard, that which I want slips away. If I chase, that which I
pursue becomes invisible.
When I look at Anna I ask myself what it is we have in common. What,
other then those personal things, holds us together? We both belong to a
time when the roots of much have been pulled clean from the ground.
When she tells of her journey here, she tells me how she looked out of
the window as the train raced through the night. She saw the lights of
towns and cities, towns and cities that for her were once only dreams. All
the time she was struck by the sense of unreality. The dream was coming
true, yet somehow it had always been true.
When she stepped off the train on an April morning she was struck by a
feeling of intense hunger. The space she had once sensed was now real,
was about to fill itself up with a life that previously could only have been
guessed at.
She tells me how she sat on a bench, her baggage at her feet, and
looked about her. She saw the light filtering through the glass ceiling of
the station. She saw the pigeons, flying, trapped, nesting in the great
steel girders above her. She saw the dirt on the ground, the electric
trolleys picking up the mail. She heard the whistle of porters as they went
to and fro between the platforms. She saw commuters, oblivious to the
presence of tourists or travellers. She slowly began to understand she
really was somewhere else.
Then, she says, she felt sad as she realised that a step once taken is
always taken; even if gone back on, it has been taken.
Coming out of the station she saw a city busy and moving. She tells
how she found a hotel room. She describes the smell of coffee and toast in
the reception as she set her bags down: the desk a little worn, the
furniture having seen better times.
In her room she opened the window and lay on the bed. She listened to
the sounds coming from the street. For a moment she wondered if it was
true, the unfamiliarity, the strangeness.
She realised she was on the crest of a wave. This city she had chosen
was a vortex of influence. She tried to imagine herself living in it day to
day, tried to see herself finding a way through its linguistic and social
maze.
Her life, she says, suddenly seemed short. She was suddenly aware,
that like many of the city’s other inhabitants she would become a
mutation, a product of her interaction. What she would find was not a new
life, but a new aspect of her particular life: the barrier had fallen - the
frontier crossed.

December 22. A friend of Anna’s called and asked if we would like go


and eat with her and her partner next weekend. Sometimes I enjoy this,
sometimes not. It is outside the city, an hour's journey. I like the travel,

11
the train swinging out through the spreading suburbs. I am always
refreshed by the smell and touch of the countryside, its contrast with the
streets of the city. I always look for the flight, for the poised movement of
birds over the fields.

December 23. It was raining again this morning but cleared up later.
This evening as I walked up the path behind the apartments, I noticed how
completely bare all the trees had become. They were hard and jagged in
the ghostly glow of the street-lamps. Their tips disappeared into the clear
night air. Overhead an airplane was crossing. Its lights appeared like a
short line of white beads moving though the sky.
I looked toward the window and saw a light on in the apartment. It was
the only one burning on our floor. I figured Anna must be already there. It
seemed all the warmer for the coldness outside.
I stood for a moment listening. The city was turning over. It was still
busy. It was still involved in its endless permutations.
Then I saw Anna come to the window. I stopped for a moment and
watched her. She put her hand up to drop the blinds. I could just make out
the details of her face in the light from the room. Then she shook her hair
back from her face. Then I wanted nothing more than to be upstairs and
with her.

The entry for December 24 is unclear. It starts with a statement about


a poem the author is attempting to write. However the text here is quite
damaged and just how it pieces together is uncertain. There are some
sparse entries for December, but it is not until January the author again
appears to have much interest in writing. The entry concerns the
beginning of a journey. He appears to be alone. There is no reference to
any of the previous entries. I have not included it above.

As already stated the identity of the author is still a mystery and will
probably remain so. I have resigned myself to this fact, though it must be
said I still entertain the occasional hope of further discoveries.
Anyone with information concerning the above or with anything they
feel may help in this strange matter should contact me at the address
given below. Or, if they prefer, refer the matter to the police at Battersea
Bridge station.

Andrew Dubrovsky.
Beaufort Street,
London.
June 1992.

12
Copyright © Peter Millington. May 1993.

13

Related Interests