The room is filled with the ticking of the long clock and the unnoise of our breathing. Eternity stretches before us in the smell of coffee bubbling on the stove and the slow turning of a page. We stare downward, rapt in these words, these worlds spun out under our hands, these strange passions and unfamiliar faces. We are many lives.
Outside, the raging storm, the endless desert. Our house is high and stoop-shouldered, well-shielded from the elements. The wind buries us quarter-deep, now on this side, now on that. We wake to it, and fall asleep to it; we measure the seasons by the color of the sand, now red, now yellow-gold.
We have been here centuries, and have lifetimes yet to go.