He gave the impression that he believed in things. We did too-it was just that we wanted to believe in our own things, rather than what had been decided for us. Hence what we thought of as our cleansing scepticism.

It seemed to us philosophically self-evident that suicide was every free person’s right: a logical act when faced with illness or senility; a heroic one when faced with torture or the avoidable deaths of others; a glamourous one in the fury of dissappointed love (see: Great Literature).

Insofar as I liked doing things by myself, it was partly for the pleasure of telling her about them afterwards.

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