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Out of mind

I am watching a man whose brain is slowly collapsing. He and his wife are trying to enjoy the summer twilight. But he will dance like a puppet to his death

By Paul Broks   December 2001

Evening on the terrace of a French seaside hotel, late summer. The sea was smooth as mercury and a three-quarter moon hung in a sky not yet drained of its blue. There would be stars eventually, but time had slowed. Even the gulls seemed suspended on the cooling air, and made hardly a sound. My wife and I were drinking cold beer, recovering from the heat of the day, our skin feeling full of the sun, our limbs aching from a long swim. We said little but sat content, watching the darkness gather. The candle on the table remained unlit.

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