Only after my departure from Prague did I fully understand the despondency of social solitude. Isolated from my adoptive surroundings, deprived of their protective mimicry, I became a soft, vulnerable slug exposed in its transparency to the harsh light of the world.
I could not afford the comfort of running for cover and screening myself with artefact. If I wanted to survive, I had better reinstate into the world, reshape myself according to its principles, yet on my own terms.
In the maze of the city, my careful steps map the borders of my inner world. I balance on an iron tight rope, my eyes fixed upon the things I remember from my past. The leafy parks, sun-streaked pavements decked with smartly dressed passers-bye, cinemas, book-shops and libraries, the “gay savoir” of those who have nothing to fear.
I extend my hand to Jean-François. Gently, without letting him feel its weight, I put my arm around his shoulders. Protecting him I shield myself with his body.