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The Sojourner

It took them ages to get home, because the hospital transport was delayed or didn't turn up or something. In the end, they took the tube. He is so frail and delicate now I well believed him when he said he almost collapsed at the end, but Whimsy was with him. She made us all a fine veggie curry, rice, salad and apple pie with marscapone afterwards. He was aware, eager to see the news and catch up with the world, and his eyes were bright in a way they haven't been for ages, but still he trembled and was very weak. I do not see how this man can be left alone in a flat the day after tomorrow.

With gratitude and relief he may well be enjoying Whimsy's hospitality, yet I can understand how he would want to be home. He says the doctor told him that his liver wasn't in a good state but neither was it in the worst state - he doesn't have cirrhosis. But he is aware he nearly died of pneumonia. 'I will have a scar,' he told me, self conscious about the cut at the base of his throat. I assured him it looked quite manly and he smiled. His smiles are nice. And he wants to write. We are trying to coax him on to the internet. As a solid member of the British Library his research has always been paper based, and very thorough... and of course, the net is monstrous for leading us to bizarre rubbishy websites based on nothing. But still it might save him time.

Having said that, I checked into social media sites on the way home, only to come across an animal cruelty story so upsetting I burst into tears on the bus. Seriously, I made the right decision not to breed. How anybody can take the risk of creating so much evil is beyond me. I honestly begin to believe that the only way to survive happily in this world is to be hopelessly unaware of it. Perhaps my friend is right to avoid the internet.

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