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He left his car by the side of the road and headed across the field towards the woods. His shoes got muddy, although in the moonlight he should have been able to see where he was going.

It felt like he had just woken up after sleeping for years, that only now he was seeing everything clearly. However, it made him ignore the discomfort and the cold, he hardly noticed his surroundings. They were not important. That was his revelation, that wherever he went he did not have to mind what was going on.

It was all beautiful, but all beauty is meaningless.

He only desired friendship now because he wanted to make these moments glow with the glory of mutual understanding, but there was no one to reach out to. The fields were empty, the town lights in the distance looked like a frown, all the cities were rusted, decayed and shut down because people no longer sought anything outside what they were used to. But the woods ahead of him were dark, inviting.

He wanted to dive into the darkness to see if it concealed any secrets, any fears left to overcome. Even that seemed quite trivial. He did not have to prove himself, he simply wanted to see what remained in the unexplored area.

When he got into the woods it turned out that there was nothing more exciting than his own heartbeat. It was such a disappointment that for a few moments he felt an urge to burn something down, the car, anything, because destruction can create a momentary impression of more intense living. Real life is the opposite, it is not very dramatic and the significance of flaming moments fades over time.

But he was in love with the landscape, everything should be just as it is, even the sickening lights on the horizon. He felt sorry that he was crushing the grass under him, possibly trampling on snails without even noticing it.

This was his moment. One who is alone seems to own everything and nothing. It is horrible, but he also felt pleased with the idea that he would always be alone. The moon watched him hungrily. One of these evenings he would truly disappear, devoured by the night.

Like with last week’s story, now that I read this 11 years after writing it, I’m wishing there was more action, but then I ended up reading it many times, trying to figure out the character and what is going on. Despite its flaws the vignette still fascinates me, because it’s possible to imagine a larger story around the character. Writing a continuation would just mean explaining too much.