Despair asks only one thing -- that you give yourself up to his care. After travelling a long, hard and dusty road, it is tempting to step aside and into his shade, where he serves a light tea of milk and tears, and wafers baked with sighs. He will tell you, among other tales, how he came to be in this quiet location, off the main thoroughfare, after deciding, midway through some forgotten and risky venture, that it was more prudent to stay put, settle and set up shop. Many of his customers have been there all their lives.

    Despair keeps no clocks. If you ask him the time, he will always say it is too late to complete your journey. He will tell you his is the last stop there is, anywhere. Do not trust the wily old shopkeeper. Instead, rest a while and thank him for his stories of lost glory. Then it is best to be on your way.

06 March 2003   23:53 hours
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