... dining-room table, her name, written in felt pen on a sticky label, that peeled and curled like a dying leaf on her lapel. In front of us lay plates filled with lunchtime fare and the corporate clattering chatter of a corporate building, boxy, concrete and glass and ugly in its sterility.
Outside the sea rose and fell in thick grey slabs upon the shingle and the sky was low and restless. A small knot of people were sheltering under the iron work of the pier and a gull hung upon the wind.
We talked about the papers we'd heard. We politely laughed in the way that two strangers laugh together. Her eyes were as bright as forget-me-nots and her relaxed smile enchanting. She told me of the session she had just run, how, at the end, some of the people attending cried. She was touched, but not surprised. She then told me about the times she had cried and I could read each tear in every line of her face.
After awhile, she looked up and smiled and asked me my name.
I looked at that smile and into those eyes and with an ice-cold realisation I understood two unshakeable truths:
1. I had no idea what my name was.
2. That the next (perhaps last) stage of my life would be to find it...