He flashed his torch, full beam, in my face. A policeman with no hat, on foot. I smiled at him. Can I help you? Have you seen a blonde? he asked. A child? I asked. No, he said, a young woman. She’s escaped from the hospital. Did he really use that word? Escaped. Perhaps he said escapee from the hospital. I cannot be sure. She’d taken an overdose, he said, and she ran away. The police were dotted everywhere. I could see a torch light down by the rocks under the pier as I walked past along the Prom. I am in two minds. She has committed no crime. She should be able to leave the hospital whenever she chooses. She is no danger to anyone else. Ah, but she is a danger to herself, they would say. Aren’t we all? I just don’t know. She is clearly unhappy. If it is too much for her, this life, this mortality, then shouldn’t she be allowed to remove herself from it when she chooses. Or is this my Samaritans training speaking? Poor love. If you see her, the policeman said, just call us, 999, OK?

A beautiful moonlit night. A harvest moon, I think. Full light. It shimmered its rays on the rocks. I was wobbly. The fast is taking its toll. And I soon grow tired of rice. I may alternate it with oranges. We shall see. My walking was slow. I do feel better otherwise and would’ve slept well if it wasn’t for the call. It is work. I am glad for it. But sometimes I’d love to be left alone. I acquiesce, always.