I live in a small, cramped apartment on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. It’s in the heart of Amsterdam and, moreover, the infamous Red-Light District. It’s a sublet, which suits me fine, leaving little to no trace of my name or person. I rarely venture out, ordering my groceries from a local shop. The owner knows me and I know him. My days are spent researching and writing, my nights are spent alone in the solitary company of myself.

I met someone. His name is Gerard. It’s a casual affair. I only see him when my urges for company become too strong. My divorce came through the other day. It’s all been taken care of by my lawyer in my absence. No one knows where I am. At least not for now. I have arranged for a fake passport. Via via, I got it, no questions asked, for four thousand euros. I am sure I got ripped off, but I am good to leave.