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17 February 2006 

a frigid wind was blowing in off lake erie, and even as he felt it rush against his face, he couldn't tell if the wind was real or something he had imagined. he didn't know what month it was, what year. he couldn't remember his name. bricks and cobblestones, his breath gusting into the air in front of him, and the three legged dog limping around the corner and vanishing from sight. it was a picture of his own death, he later realized, a picture of a soul in ruins, and long after he had pulled himself together and moved on, a part of him was still there, standing on that empty street in sandusky, ohio, gasping for breath as his existence dribbled out of him.

paul auster, the book of illusions