He knows that after him everything will continue on much as before, except that there will be a minuscule absence, a barely detective gap in the so-called grand scheme, one unit fewer now. Or not even that, not even an empty space where he once was, for all will rush immediately to fill that vacuum. Pft. Gone. Recollections of him will remain in the minds of others for a while, but presently those others too will die and his few relics with them. And then all will be dark.
Yes, this is what I thought adulthood would be, a kind of long indian summer, a state of tranquility, of calm incuriousness, with nothing left of the barely bearable raw immediacy of childhood, all the things solved that had puzzled me when I was small, all mysteries settled, all questions answered, and the moments dripping away, unnoticed almost, drip by golden drip, toward the final, almost unnoticed, quietus.
In the city of flesh I travel without maps, a worried tourist: and Ottilie was a very Venice. I stumbled lost in the blue shade of her pavements. Here was a dreamy stillness, a swaying, the splash of an oar. Then, when I least expected it, suddenly I stepped out into the great square, the sunlight, and she was a flock of birds scattering with soft cries in my arms.
Together they will spend a happy hour seated side by side..., while Ivy's tender hand guides Duffy's as he traces out laboriously, in pencil, over and over until he has them off pat, the magic letters of his name. More than the wedding itself, that little ceremony there under the lamp, all silent save for the soft scratching of graphite on paper, will mark the true beginning of their life together.