"How was it working with Mr Sherlock Holmes?"  If I have been asked this question once, I have been asked it a thousand times since Meiringen;  each time it makes my heart bleed anew.  I hold claim to being a man of letters, but which words can paint a hollow heart or sculpt a man the likes of whom has never been known on this poor earth before?

I would speak of the thousand nuances of his smile decipherable only to me, his unflagging devotion to justice in the human condition that so often put me to shame, or the way he moved around our rooms with a sensual grace which I only later realised for the deliberate seduction that it was.   I would describe a mind that could see and know everything about me, and yet--miracle of miracles--still cherish me above all others and a heart too untouched and vulnerable to be exposed to the hard, cold world at large.   I would describe a man who could be at turns churlish, arrogant, selfish, and thoughtless even to the point of being cruel.  If I could, I would describe that about him which more than compensates for these few flaws that serve to reassure me that he is indeed man and not the god I am so often wont to revere him as.

But I never can.  I can no more describe Sherlock Holmes to one who has not known and loved him than I could a sunset to a blind man, the climax of intercourse to a celibate, or grief to one who has never borne a loss.

I could never explain the depths of loyalty that bound me to follow his footsteps through the greatest perils when I could only trust in--but never hope to follow--the exactness of his thoughts.   To do so one would have to know him as I did in those golden moments after our couplings when he was utterly free and easy with his affections as like to a man who had never yet been hurt.

"He was a remarkable man," say I.  My inquisitor nods in unknowing miscomprehension and lets the matter slide, leaving me alone with my memories, my ghosts and the vast, roaring, incomparable magnitude of my loss.