A week comes to a close, one that has been fraught with doubt, consistently challenging and in an awkwardly detached and alien way, somewhat interesting. And I don’t mean the arrestingly engrossing interest one shows towards that sliver of flesh unwittingly revealed by an attractive member of the opposite sex. I refer to the preoccupation that one devotes to flashes of the arcane that present seventy-seven questions, each leading to an old wooden door that opens up a labyrinthine path into a dark forest of unquantifiable allusions.

I’m walking across a featureless desert, with a deeply uninteresting horizon and dry, dry sand under my feet that glows faintly with the colour of ancient memory, rippling with every step in an unsettlingly organic way. There is nothing here. No breeze, no smell, no perceptible temperature variation.

I’m staring at the thin, wet parchment, that stretched across a wooden frame awaits my first pen stroke. I look around my desk, select an oblique nib from a disorganised assortment, dip it into an inkwell that recalls my grandfather’s term papers, and hold my breath. If I press too hard the parchment will snap. If my stroke is too light it will be irreparably insignificant. If I hesitate the ink will spread, a brutal and unforgiving reminder of a moment of weakness.

I’m looking out of the passenger-side window of my car. The door is as described and she is inside. I stare at it, expecting it to offer a solution to my quandary. The letterbox opens and shuts, silently mouthing “Leave while you can.” I’m rooted to the seat, appreciating the comfort of being cosseted within a familiar cockpit. And yet the promise of untold pleasure and forbidden bliss snakes out of the gaping mouth of the surprised letterbox with the assuage that only years of experience can yield, filling my cocoon with tiny, tempting voices.

The sand parts. A shapeless mass emerges and pours into an invisible mould, taking the shape of my thoughts.

The pen breaks through the parchment, revealing another year gone by.

I’m still in the car.