He’d post it from the airport (so he thought) to keep things simple. Life had a way of complicating things: emotions: sudden crying, a flick of joy when all one really needed was the steady work of research, some thoughtful reference to Linnaeus pinning the heart in its right place. In this he’d failed – marriages and children spilled from specimen trays like butterflies come inexplicably alive. (All he wants is peace.) His decision had the ring of truth, like finding where a bug belonged, a taxonomic certainty. And so he wrote: there’s no one else. But I yearn for the innocence of childhood. No responsibilities. No ties. I’m going to cruise my life along the straight lines of canals. And posted it as his flight was called: just half a page to say he’d not be back.