During his thirties, Shaw’s life went through a flat spot. It wasn’t drink or drugs, it was too soon to be a mid-life crisis, it wasn’t any of the predictable things: just a lack of dimension, one of those lapses which, once you come out the other side of it, proves hard to rationalise. Five years of his life were expended on nothing very much. In an attempt to redirect himself, like a delivery that has arrived too late, he moved to a suburb by the Thames and the first night, walking through the graveyard on his way from one pub to the next, discovered a man on his knees in the ground ivy at the base of a wall. Shaw stopped and watched him.
“Are you ok,” he said.
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