Behind the fairground is a great, smooth, curving meadow – a landfill I suppose – with curved white plastic pipes sticking up from its surface, breathing pale fumes into the cold air. On the other side of this runs a busy highway, and a mile or so down that is a mall where I occasionally brave the stares of other shoppers to purchase candles and paraffin for the little heater I now own: my one piece of furniture. I can live easily on a few dollars a day, and at this rate I have no immediate prospect of starving.
And when I feel the need for illumination, or just for something other than my own work to distract me, I have Barbara Hellermann’s Shakespeare and the book I brought with me when I left Room 106 for the last time. This latter is a translation of the Gnostic Gospels – the writings dismissed as apocryphal by the early patriarchs, and excluded from the canon of scriptures that make up the authorised version of the New Testament. Strangely enough, when I took it out of my briefcase a few days ago, it fell open on the very page I had been reading when I opened it for the first time. There before me was the passage that had so intrigued me before I was interrupted and lost my place:
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.