I am in the Netherlands. I am, with other European and American tourists, staying at this hotel with old elevators and heavy curtains at every window that let very little light in. I have gone out to spend the night in a bar with compatriots. Some of us have cell phones. There are big flat TV screens on the walls. We are shown news in a foreign language. But it does not matter. There’s no sound coming from the televisions. All we can hear is music and chatter. Then we see it, the noise on the TV screens. All of them. Cell phones start to ring. Here is what I understand from what I’m told. There has been in some city somewhere a nuclear explosion. It was an attack. Here is what I have to do : go back to the hotel, take the elevator to the lowest floor. There are a couple of floors that are underground. Me and my compatriots, all the tourists, that’s what we have to do now. Outside the bar, many people seem to not know what’s going on. While others are running. At some point I lose my crutches, I am in a crowd, I fall down, use something to stand up, and I can’t see my crutches around me. I start my progression toward the hotel using various things to lean on, and it is painfully slow. I am reminded of that book Blindness by Saramago where people become blind by looking at people who are blind. And eventually everyone is blind, and people use objects and other people to navigate through the city. That’s what I am doing, except I am not blind and I am not touching anyone. At some point I have to walk across an overpass, I use the safeguard to reach the other side. There is heavy traffic, and there are no pedestrian but me and a few traffic controllers. One of these traffic controllers, someone that really looks like a native from the place, with light-colored hair and light-colored eyes, comes toward me, and although I don’t understand a word he’s saying I can tell from his gesturing that he’s scolding me and telling me I can’t be there. I keep on progressing, leaning on the safeguard. I have no choice. He turns his back on me, goes back to the place where he controls the traffic, then after a while he comes back to me, and speaks to me in my own language : where are you going? I have to go to my hotel, I tell him. Lean on me, he says. That’s not what I had in mind. I can hardly walk or climb stairs leaning on something that moves, like a person. It would be better if someone would carry me. But that’s all he’s proposing and oddly enough I am able to walk just by holding his hand. When we get into the hotel, two guys get a hold of him. He’s forced into a room down the hall. I don’t understand what’s going on. I recognize some people in my family. They welcome me. I am given crutches. My aunt tells me that the explosion was in a city called Banff and it wasn’t a nuclear bomb after all and only 12 people died. But I can’t tell anyone about this. Why, I think, that would be a great comfort for everyone to know that. But my compatriots insist and provide no other explanation. I manage to get rid of them. I want to go the room where my light-colored helper was forced into. I look into the room. It is huge and filled with prisoners. There are almost as many guards as captives. My helper is kept captive. Most men have been made to strip completely. It’s not because they had to be “searched”, it’s something else. I get in, I am the only woman there. I am trying to locate my helper. There is so much fear and hopelessness in the captives’ eyes. Finally I see him. He’s naked too. He sees me. I go to him. Behind him there are other captives. He takes me in his arms. He holds me from behind. We are locked together. I am standing between him and the guards. And suddenly, my clothes disappear. I am naked too. I still have my braces so I am not collapsing on the ground. I can feel the man’s penis throbbing against my lower back. This man who’s holding me from behind covers all my sex with his hand, like he wants to hide it. But he’s also, very discreetly, stroking my clit with one of his fingers. He’s kissing the nape of my neck. I am overcome with pleasure. Eventually I turn my face toward him, I want to look him in the eye. And he’s not my helper. He has dark hair and brown eyes. He’s someone else. But... no, he’s not. He really is the same person, I just can’t explain how and why, but that’s him with a different face.