''In the summer of my' sixtieth year, I left the Old Place where I was born. It was a very nice place, though I couldn't bear to stay much longer due to the heat, which was too stifling for anything, save contemplating its weight on the body. The Old Place had barely withstood the trauma of humans - scraps of glass and metal littered the surface, curlicued junk strewn everywhere, so sharp our feet grew hard and muscular to resist it. There were none of those things called maps by which I could chart my journey. No phones or compasses or even torchlights, only some old hand tools and bits of food which my family packed in a cloth sack, and a mould-eaten photograph of an oyster pinned to my lapel.'