'Herz wondered if the people he passed on the street ruminated on lost causes, as he did.
Try as he might to divert himself, he could never escape the suspicion that he should be elsewhere.' Herz is seventy-three and facing the difficult question: what is he going to do with the rest of his life?
How is it all going to end? He could propose marriage to an old friend he hasn't seen for thirty years; he could travel, he could make a trip to Paris to see a favourite painting; he could sell his flat, move, start afresh.
He must do something with the time left but what?