© P.G., Blue Light, Blue Heat (@Shenzhen).
XVI. He ate at food courts, preferring the late afternoon when the office crowds were gone and he could eat in peace, alone with his combo. He favoured souvlaki, sweet and sour pork and steak sandwiches (his favourite: all mayonaise and white bread, gray meat, and orange cheese. He ate off Styrofoam plates using plastic utensils, and when he was done, he always put the garbage in the trash, careful to place the tray on top. Even the food court demanded manners. This was still civilization.
XVII. He read books even though they gave him no pleasure. It was force of habit combined with an acute fear of being alone with his thoughts. He could barely sit down without reaching for something, anything, to read, to cram in his eyeballs and fill up his brain. He preferred non-fiction, books about the way things are. He wanted his fears confirmed.
XVIII. There were pieces of his life all over the city, scattered debris from the slow-motion crash of the last ten years. Slowly, surely, without notice or alarm (at first), his life had just fallen away. Things he did were no longer done, people he knew were no longer known, Significant places returned to anonimity, their significance forgotten.