Then that boy disappeared for a while -- for a few weeks or so. And when he came back, he had changed. I'm not talking about the sun tan he had -- he had changed inside. This change (these changes?) also reflected on the outside, in the way he looked. You could also hear it in his voice. And it was incredible -- incredible how much he had changed over those few weeks.
"What happened to you?" I asked.
"I fell in love," he said, smiling.
"With whom? With someone you met when you were away?"
"Not with whom, but with what."
"With what then?" I asked, baffled.
"I fell in love with the Underground."
And then he told me his story. He told me how he had, for the first time, ridden an underground train. How he had felt claustrophobic at first, as it had been so dark outside. But then the train had emerged from the underground, and it had been a most extraordinary feeling for him. At first, he said, everything had been dark. But then the darkness suddenly had become to recede, turning gray instead of black, and the next moment everything was white. And then, from this whiteness, emerged the green grass and trees of the suburbs. It was, he said, as if he had been Enlightened.
Of course he lied. I could see it in his eyes -- all the time he was telling me this story, he never looked me in the eye. He kept avoiding my gaze. So i instantly knew this was not what had happened to him. Well, it probably had, but it was not the thing that had changed him. It had been something else. Something else had happened to him that had changed him.