It is colder. I don’t feel it but I sense it and I see it in the air. It is there, in front of my face and, hunched against it, I walk.
I came here for a reason. I believed the city would prove a refuge but I am moving without regard for destination, relentlessly forging a wildly circuitous path but I can’t find my way.
The man is tall, freakishly so, and stopping I study him for a moment. He is moving purposefully and I am engaged and begin to follow. He is walking much more slowly than I and I have to stop again and watch and wait as he forges on ahead.
He leads me across a courtyard and on either side there are office blocks. I follow him from plaza to plaza and all is deserted. The reception areas are closed and the lighting has dimmed to an energy saving low level.
I gaze up at the night sky and the bulky air conditioning units on the rooftops loom dark and ominous. I shiver. I’m not cold but wish that I had a coat or at least a heavy sweater, something in which I could wrap myself.
The man’s clothes are ragged, as ragged as my own, and I suspect he is homeless. He is still moving at the same slow pace but I am struggling now to keep up.
We pass office blocks that now stand empty, there is no light from the windows and they are in varying states of disrepair. It is as if we are pushing against the edge of something and yet it is endless.
I have managed to move closer and he and I are walking together. We are almost in sync but the effort is incredible and I have to stop. This time I sit on the pavement and, stretching out my legs, I lean against the brick and watch him disappear.