In the beginning we feared everything—animals, the weather, the trees, the night sky—everything except each other. Now we fear each other, and almost nothing else.
‘He’s travelling. He’s looking at the whole world.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Europeans do that. They work for a while, and then they travel around, lonely, for a while, with no family, until they get old, and then they get married, and become very serious.’ ‘That’s crazy’ ‘Yes.’ ‘He must be lonely, without his mummy and his daddy, and with no wife and children.’ ‘Yes. But the Europeans don’t mind. They get a lot of practice being lonely.’
‘But... they’ll see us,’ my friend protested. ‘Yeah.’ ‘And they’ll start shooting at us.’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘They’ll shoot us.’ ‘You said that.’ ‘Well, fuck me,’ he hissed. ‘I think it bears repeating. It’s a fuckin’ salient point, don’t you think?’
It was the tender, close hug that a woman gives a man when she knows she can trust him, or when she’s sure his heart belongs to someone else.