He spent an hour removing pictures from the bedroom wall. Images of icons, cars, animals, slogans, pin-ups, friends. He saved the blu-tack from the corners of each piece of paper and combined them into a ball. He put the pictures into a black bin liner, then he took the ball of blu-tack and dabbed it across the wall, removing any stubborn sticky debris. But the wall was pock-marked. Stains remained; blemishes that would never disappear. It was like a desert terrain, marked for ever by the craters of missiles and bombs once used to hold up some culture, some ethos.
“Long after I am gone, when the desert sands have buried the broken towns, the blistered ancient holy buildings, the decayed bodies of ages, and all is dust once more, and rivers have diluted every drop of our blood and washed it to oblivion, and the memory of this history is a forgotten series of ones and noughts, and the seeming swell of new terrors have long since been targeted and again waylaid, or denied, and hypocrisies have risen and been suppressed, and lies like tombstones have founded the cities of the future; then will you see I was right.”