When he left we sat with the remains of breakfast. The two of us knew at precisely the same time. When Webb was here with all his stories about me and Nora, about Gravier and Phillip Street, the wall of wire barrier glass went up between me and Robin. And when he left we were still here, still, not moving or speaking, in order to ignore the barrier glass. God he talked and sucked me through his brain so I was a puppet and she was a landscape so alien and so newly forgotten that I was ridiculous here. He could reach me this far away, could tilt me upside down till he was directing me like wayward traffic back home.
Here. Where I am anonymous and alone in a white room with no history and no parading. So I can make something unknown in the shape of this room. Where I am King of Corners. And Robin who drained my body of its fame when I wanted to find that fear of certainties I had when I first began to play, back when I was unaware that reputation made the room narrower and narrower, till you were crawling on your back, full of your own echoes, till you were drinking in only your own recycled air. And Robin and Jaelin brought me back to that open fright with the unimportant objects.
He came here and placed my past and future on this table like a road.
[Coming Through Slaughter, Ondaatje, M.]