You see them occasionally in your home town. They are always passing through. They are young men with long hair and blue jean jackets, and the look of the ascetic on their faces. They are derelicts clutching a paper bag, who make humped shadows in alleyways. They are young girls with flushed cheeks and too bright smiles, and women who seem always to be watching you. They may even be you. You can recognize them. In one way they are the same. They all have fangs in their eyes.
On the first day of the month of Harps he had not returned. And on the second the wind blew black with dust. I stood on the walls of Kaleri, my eyes red from seeing, and waited to watch him ride in gray out of the wind shadows. But he did not. On the third day I went out after him.
"High IQ," he said, "but the patient shows paranoid delusions of grandeur with ideas of reference."
"Ahhh," I said, as if I agreed.
"Attributable to Oedipal disturbances in childhood and complicated, I think, by an organic syndrome induced by narcotics abuse around the onset of puberty. The client also appears to exhibit concomitant antisocial characteristics and it may prove difficult to establish rapport."
"Yes. I fear you are right," I said, and turned him gently from the mirror.
I suppose no man can forget what he now is when he speaks of what he once was. He can only hope to remember what were, for many of us, happier times, softer days, when moments without hardness were like leaves on the trees.