"True love is like a ghost; everyone talks of it, few have seen it."He no longer fears the darkness. Ruined castles, haunted manors, even the sudden scream howling out of the night - all these hold for him no terror. Having seen the real thing, having experienced its absolute power, he no longer fears the apparitions of the mind, its shadows, its superstitions.
- La Rochefoucauld
It is not, with him, a question of belief. It is a matter of need. When the day returns, he wanders through the sunlight like a man saved from a most exquisite drowning, like a man reluctant to commit himself to breath.
He eats little, talks to no one. The horror stories he picks up in bookstores seem phoney, feigned. He attends matinees like seances, sitting in the back of the movie theatre, watching the images dance on the screen. The stories themselves mean little to him; he is seeking a mirror for his own feelings, that expression of the face, that look in the eyes.
But it is all false, false! He is like a man who stands outside the window of a closed shop, his hands against the glass, trying to imagine some violence that would let him in.
When they say he looks haunted he laughs.
They have begun to be frightened of him - the children, the young women. They are startled by the intensity of that presence, those dreadful eyes. They dare not approach him, do not know how. He for his part finds them too fleeting, too grounded in the here and now. They do not interest him.
When he thinks back on that night the vision appeared to him, he curses himself for turning away from it, for running away. How petty his fears seem now, how banal this life he sought to keep safe.
Unable to sleep, he wanders the corridors of his building, searching for some whisper of that other existence, that deeper thrill. Unaware that in the haze of his search he himself has become so fearful a specter, that no ghost dare come near.