I’d spent all day searching for it. At 8pm, nearing darkness, I turned on a lamp. It began to rain faintly – even with thunder like a gentle whisper. I laid down on the floor, closed my eyes, and listened. The cicadas, a splash of water on the road as a car drove by, the murmuring of a distant conversation.

A small wooden boat rocked gently. I’d forgotten if it was roped or shackled.