My love. If words can reach whatever world you may be suffering in, then listen. I have things to tell you. At this muffled end of another year I prowl the sombre streets of our quarter holding you in my head. I would not have thought it possible to fix a single object so steadily for so long in the mind's violent gaze. You. You. With dusk comes rain that seems no more than an agglutination of the darkening air, drifting aslant in the lamplight like something about to be remembered. Strange how the city becomes deserted at this evening hour; where do they go to, all those people, and so suddenly? As if I had cleared the streets. A car creeps up on me from behind, tyres squeaking against the sides of the narrow footpaths, an I have to stop and press myself into a doorway to let it pass. How sinister it appears, this sleek, unhuman thing wallowing over the cobbles with its driver like a faceless doll propped up motionless behind rain-stippled glass. It shoulders by me with what seems a low chuckle and noses down and alleyway, oozing a lazy burble of exhaust smoke from its rear end, its lollipop-pink tail-lights swimming in the deliquescent gloom. Yes, this is my hour, all right. Curfew hour.
Athena, John Banville