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This, Brunetti knew, was what happened to people who retired. Like photos left too long on the wall, their colours began to fade. Hair followed life and began to grow dim, the brightness of their eyes diminished. A strong jawline became harder to see; skin dried and grew more fragile. They remained the same people, but they began to disappear. Certainly, others no longer noticed them, nor what they wore nor what they said or did. They were there, hanging suspended, washed out and considered useless, trapped behind the glass of age. Dust gathered on the glass, and one day they weren't there on the wall among the other fading photos, and soon after that people began to forget what they looked like or what they had said.
–From Unto Us a Son is Given, Donna Leon's 28th Brunetti Mystery.