We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality, even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.
David Mitchell: “Letters From Zedelghem”
After supper, the three of us might listen to the wireless if there is a broadcast that passes muster, otherwise it will be recordings on the gramophone (an His Master’s Voice table model in an oak box), usually Ayrs’s own major works conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. When we have visitors, there will be conversation or a little chamber music. Other nights, Ayrs likes me to read to him poetry, especially his beloved Keats. He whispers the verses as I recite, as if his voice is leaning on mine.