‘One of my Buddhism for dummies books says there are three fires to be avoided at all costs — desire, anger and delusion. I think my greatest desire — and delusion — is to see a meaning in the events that have taken place in my life. There have been three occasions I can think of when I felt the siren call of Meaning, when I was convinced that things had happened as they were meant to — and each time I got it wrong.’
In solitude, in a hotel in China, a man writes to a close friend, trying to identify themes in his life and relationships, revealed in the memory of sometimes funny, sometimes traumatic incidents and episodes. Intermittently he also writes of his present days in China, of the shifting persona he has adopted in order to lead a 'floating life' between worlds and identities.