He's still not back. (I wait outside his apartment every day, sometimes roaming the paths we took, following our faded footprints.)
I found a book next to his bed (one of many stacked in uneven piles). It was Jorge Luis Borges' Poems of the Night. There was a bookmark in it, which lead to the poem "Insomnia." There was a part of the poem that was highlighted (did he do it awake or asleep? do receivers read of electric sheep?):
In vain do I await
the disintegration, the symbols that come before sleep.
Universal history goes on:
the tiny course of death through the cavities in our teeth,
the circulation of my blood and of the planets.
There's another passage later on that's also highlighted:
Tonight I believe in fearful immortality:
no man has died in time, no woman,
no dead person, for this inevitable reality of steel and mud
has to traverse the indifference of all who are dead or asleep
--though they hide in corruption and in the centuries--
and condemn them to a ghastly sleeplessness.
Rough clouds the color of wine lees will stain the sky,
and dawn will come to my tightly closed eyes.
I have the book in front of me now. I'm flipping through it, listening to the soothing turning of pages. I always liked Borges - labyrinths, mirrors, tigers.
It's a warm night tonight. I think I'll wait outside for him and read under the stars.