Walter opens his eyes, slowly. He blinks once. Twice. A third time. Finally his brain receives a clear image. But… nothing of what he sees makes any sense to him – nothing is recognizable. He rubs his eyes with the back of his hand. His head feels like an over-inflated balloon. He daringly takes another look. He still can't grasp it. What his eyes are telling him is that he has just awoken in the middle of a desert. Sand. Sand is all his eyes can see. But his brain tells him that he is at home; "Remember?" it asks "you just came home from work and had a cup of coffee. Remember? There was milk in it and all! Remember?? It was actually quite good and…"
Walter does not listen. He has gotten on his feet. He is starting to sweat – he is still wearing his wintercoat, a shirt buttoned all the way up and a tie knotted with a double-windsor. And it is probably, what, 45*C Degrees? He takes of his coat and unknots his tie. Where is he? How did he get here?!
Walter looks down to where he just sat. There is a subtle imprint in the sand. Next to it is his umbrella. Black, with a wooden handle. One of the expensive ones. The kind of umbrella his father would have bought, a taste that Walt apparently had adopted.
A hidden survival instinct in him, an instinct Walter had never used, tells him to grab everything and just start walking. And, after consulting his brain and his eyes, that is just what he chose to do.
This was the beginning of the strangest and single most important and fantastic experience in Walters life, the one that would change him for good.
This was the beginning of the Journey.