Metaphysical tears do not taste salty... Feeling sorry for myself again. Life was populated, even when I ignored people. Death, I'm sad to report, enjoys no such luxury. I'm it. And just between you, me, and The Presence (who still eludes my senses) Sebastian Arnold Lazarus is insufficient. I, me, my, and mine are simply not enough.
    Not enough for what, you might well ask? For the Hereafter. For Heaven or Hell or Christmas-tree-land—whatever this droll Eternity might be entitled. I’m missing something, somebody, you—the Other. Yayuk once said she would escort me to the Pearly Gates herself; said it with all sincerity. I scoffed, of course; and therefore have not found them? What I have  reached apparently is an after-image ghost of Northwest Arizona... fading into oblivion as I complain... to nobody.
    Inseparable we were, Yayuk and I, on that trip we took to Africa, memories of which obsess me even now, as if that period in our togetherness held clues to this post-mortal mystery, as if those months were not so much recalled as somehow reinstated, no less real than the solitary vacuum of my immediate surroundings... wherein I'm lost, and, more 's the pity, un-virtuously alone.


Lushoto became...