One sunset his mother led him to the landing window. She told him that the world must perish underneath just such a sky. Then the sun itself would flicker out.

A myth of illness had been supplied for his protection. It is difficult to explain how he rolled and screeched for breath while the material of his body buckled into a scaled hide that split apart to reveal clean bone for an instant before it became covered over with skin the texture of moss.

The path he had been forced to walk led through an orchard to the refuse heap outside a farm cottage. In view of the black upper window of the cottage he turned over the ragged skull of a cow. He had been initiated into a system based upon decay and exhaustion.

Childhood had been his tomb. Most adults found him stupid or puzzling. One or two treated him as though they expected to find him in dispute at the temple.

He fell beneath the enchantment of one who taught him to make the life of the mind seamless with his experience of the world. For her there could be no distinction between the passion of Holger Meins and the use of her own sexuality.

Once he followed a trail of blood through the house to the corner in which his mother sat. She told him that she had fallen from a three-legged stool she had been standing upon. But it was not his father who spat at him or struck him in the face.