My life was dust in a sunlit stairwell; tiny fragments of things that were no longer there, floating aimlessly, sinking slowly. I shared my room with a fly that moved erratically round the light-bulb. I copied its movements into a notepad, hoping that they would spell out letters, words, sentences. And that there might be some meaning there.
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Nothing, I thought. The fly lived in my room all summer and never said anything useful. Just round and round the lightbulb. Every day. It never seemed to rest, or eat. Maybe it slept when I slept. I didn't know much about that. It doesn't do to think too hard about sleep. Or love, or hunger. Some things get easier with thought, like mathematics. But other things are best left alone. Just going round and round.
I wanted to be like a piece of music played on a piano in a circular room at the top of a tower. When I looked out of the window I wanted to see a rolling pine forest stretching to the horizon. The truth was that my music sounded like traffic and my view was of a wall five metres distant.
4 1/2 litres (8 pints) tears
1kg (2 1/4 lb) white sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
General purpose yeast
Boil the tears as soon as possible after crying as they can very easily sour. Add the sugar to the boiling tears. Add the lemon juice. Start the yeast in a glass. Leave the tear mixture to cool to blood heat, then add the started yeast. Leave to ferment in a darkened room for three days then strain off into a 4.5 litre (1 gallon) jar and seal with an airlock. Bottle, cork and store when fermentation ceases. This wine may be drunk after a month but it is even better after six months.
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