The solitude held him together—gently bearing and balancing the weight of flesh and bone and mind and soul. Silence, he thought to himself, changes its tone from one moment to the next, it is, like love, never a static thing.

Sitting, staring out of the window, he realized that he was less interested than he once was in seeking answers to questions that belonged to the realm of mystery. He craved paradox and prayed for the strength to take up residence there.

He heard his belly grumble. He looked up at the lamps—glowing orbs in his tiny borrowed palace. He was hungry but did not crave. He longed for touch while grateful for solitude. He wished to belong and to remain apart. He resisted the temptation to resolve these contradictions. That, he thought, would be too easy—a dull psychological exercise. He chose, instead, to follow the wisdom of his belly and prepare lunch.

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