Packing up. The nagging worry of departure. Lost keys, unwritten labels, tissue paper lying on the floor. I hate it all. Even now, when I have done so much of it, when I live, as the saying goes, in my boxes. Even to-day when shutting drawers and flinging wide a hotel wardrobe, or the impersonal shelves of a furnished villa, is a methodical matter of routine, I am aware of a sadness, of a sense of loss. Here, I say, we have lived, we have been happy. This has been ours, however brief the time. Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, not a hair-pin on a dressing table, not an empty bottle of aspirin tablets, not a handkerchief beneath a pillow, but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood.
This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within its walls. That was yesterday. To-day we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again. Even stopping for luncheon at a way-side in, and going to a dark, unfamiliar room to wash my hands, the handle of the door unknown to me, the wall-paper peeling in strips, a funny little cracked mirror above the basin, for this moment, it is mine, it belongs to me. We know one another. This is the present. There is no past and no future. Here I am washing my hands and the cracked mirror shows me to myself, suspended as it were in time; this is me, this moment will not pass.