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Tori and her husband left the city last week. I had wanted to say goodbye to her, and we had agreed to have a final drink at the Cameo bar, but when the evening came she stood me up. The next morning I received a brief, incoherent text message, apologising and explaining that she had been too busy trying to find somebody to care for her cat at the last minute. I wondered why she did not ask me, although I dislike animals and would have refused. Tori’s departure unnerved me, and for a few subsequent days I felt drained and helpless and vaguely embittered. Marcin’s departure had torn my heart out, and I have lately experienced a strange kind of nostalgia for the pain which I felt back then, and a fear that my emotions no longer seem real, or have any sort of kick to them. I have never been one for crying, but I sometimes wish that melancholy could have its own bodily organ, which could be stimulated like a penis, producing easy tears which could then be dabbed up like come, leaving one feeling refreshed and untroubled.

I appreciate now that I had rather taken Tori for granted after Marcin had left, and following her own departure I sense the shape of a great cold hole in the fabric of my life. I guess that lesser, inferior people will patch it up. It is at times like this that I wonder what it would feel like to abandon the city – Poland certainly seems more lively at the moment than it has in recent years – but I have not the heart for change, and I fear that however hard I would labour to accomplish a new life, it would be just as empty as the present one.