The snow clouds parted for an instant, and the moon touched the ocean. He, seeing that fragment of it tossing in the silver light, knew it and knew that in some previous life he had sailed there for decades; and that this previous life was returning to him. He remained poised upon the ice, but the knowledge passed. The moonlight upon the waves became only the moon on the waves, and he grew accustomed to the salt bite of the wind, so that he no longer rejoiced in its sting, but felt only its cold. And after a time he turned away from the ocean and clambered slowly down, often slipping, gripping the ragged ice-slabs with frozen fingers, and crossed the black road with its dancing ghosts, and crossed the broad terrace with its dancing ghosts, and went at last up the steps and into the Grand Hotel.
from There Are Doors (Tor Books, 1988) by Gene Wolfe
May 7, 1931 – April 14, 2019
Good night, sir. Thank you.