And sometimes then he sat with us for an hour or so, sharing our limbo, listening while I read. Books from any shelf, opened at any page, in which I would start and finish anywhere, mid-sentence sometimes. Wuthering Heights ran into Emma, which gave way to The Eustace Diamonds, which faded into Hard Times, which ceded to The Woman in White. Fragments. It didn't matter. Art, its completeness, its formedness, its finishedness, had no power to console. Words, on the other hand, were a lifeline.