He lied on the terrace, comfortably stretched on a soft rocking bed, and he stared at the ocean. He thought of Lautréamont, and what was so powerful inside him while he had written the inspiring pages that glorified the ocean. He could not name it. It was bad that he did not feel something gleamed inside him. Even worse was that he once had had that feeling. Strong gleaming, fire and eruptions afterwards. Now there was nothing. Now he had a house at the ocean coast and he did not have to worry about the rent and the bills. He was only supposed to think about filling in his day. In the beginning it was very easy. He started to meet the people in the village after he had stayed at home for couple of days. He liked some of them, but after a while he stopped visiting them. He felt that he had nothing to offer, that he was simply steeling from them while he listened to them talking. When he talked, he had the impression that they were expecting big thoughts out of him. Then he felt as someone who was not fully normal. When he spoke about those plain, everyday things, he felt that his words were empty and deprived of any sense. It was nice when he sat with them at some of the cafés at the coast and when they emptied their bottles. He smoked their tobacco and listened to the stories about their families, the children’s illnesses in those families, the new fishing nets that they would buy very soon, if only the fish would improve, and while they talked, he looked at their hands and their faces, at all the marks that time and ocean had left on them, and then he looked at his own hands and he was aware that they were not the hands of a fisherman. It made him feel different than them, and it pierced his insides as an old, but unhealed pain.
Sunsets were very beautiful. The sun turned the ocean gold, as if it was paying him tribute for the work he had done during the day, and for the work he had done since he had existed. He did not know exactly what the work of the ocean was, and he thought that maybe its very existence can be called work. Still, he too existed but it felt that he wasn’t doing anything. He dozed in the sun, emptier and emptier, as if he became a big sandglass that had been left forgotten at some kitchen shelf. Nobody remembered to turn him upside-down, so that the sand can start measuring the time again: they had lunch and after the lunch they went somewhere, outside the kitchen, and he remained alone, waiting for somebody to turn him upside-down so that he could restart working.
He walked through the house; there was no corner that he had not sat at. He tried to read on the floor, with his knees underneath him, or he would hug one of his knees and he read bent like that. It reminded him of the time when he was a very young boy and when he stayed for hours at the same position, swallowing the words on the white paper in front of him. Now, he only felt pain in his back. And he felt stupid with himself. He saw himself back in time, but it was no longer him: it was as if seeing someone similar to himself in the broken pieces of the kaleidoscope and the pang in his insides repeated in such rhythmic intervals that he felt like laughing.
The letters from the other side of the ocean were rarer. It was to be expected: he rarely answered them. Even when he did, there was a big delay in the answers, and his letters felt empty and each one of them looked like having some big shortcoming in itself. He thought it was interesting, the way the letters traveled. Sometimes, he forced himself to answer some of them, only to be able to imagine the trip of the letter in the days that became longer and longer. As if he watched his letter being taken out of the box, and then put in the mail bag, the bag was put in the mail van, and then it was driven to the post office. There, they unloaded the bags, then they were open and envelopes in different colors fell out of them. Most often they were white. They would divide the envelopes by continents, states and the local ones were distributed per city. Then, they would put the intercontinental ones in bags, they would load them on a train to the first airport, there they would distribute them per flight, the plane would take off and at the airport there would be a mail car to pick them up, then to take them to the nearest post office, where they were distributed according to the cities of the country where they were, and some morning the postman would take the letters for his area, and he would go there to release himself of this load of paper and words. Days became longer and longer.
He tried to see some ship at the horizon, but it felt that there were so few of them at that time of the year. It was the middle of the summer, it was very hot, and the ship sailed far from his vision field. The skies were empty all the time, as if the clouds went around that part of the world, and he felt that if he could see at least one cloud, he could immediately start working, creating a story out of the characters he would see in the cloud. Then he thought that it was just an excuse for the indifference in which he had fallen, and he closed his eyes. He would press his eyelashes so hard that there would be yellow spots diving out in his consciousness. As if he had sunrays in his head. But it did not encourage him to anything. To whatever.
He stayed at the house and one thing confused him very often; he used to love to travel, discover new places and new food, and feel the flying of the asphalt under himself. Now he could not force himself to get on the road. Most of all he was confused by the fact that he started being afraid of the big cities. It felt that they were crowded and insanely noisy, and that there was some danger looming behind every corner. The concrete fly-overs and all thousands of tones metal that roared above them and around them and everywhere scared him.
One night, when he sat by the hotel window and listened to the city roar under him. Then he felt it for the first time. The light in the room was off and he sat on the bed, staring at the window. The thin white curtains blew towards the inside of the room, waving the blackness of the dark, mixing it with the dark blue and pale blue color coming from the outside. As if some sad song played though the folds of the curtains, and he felt very lonely. The next day, when he stood in front of the audience, he knew that something had changed. He did not think about how he would introduce himself in front of them. He thought of how many of them had already felt it; the loneliness and fear of emptiness of the room. Now he knew that it would have been better if he had spoken about it. To share that hardship with the human world, to offer comfort and comfort himself with the relief that he would bring to them. But, he did not do it then, or any other time afterwards. It felt that he was reprimanding himself so much for that lost chance that he could not find the strength to forgive himself. On the other hand, maybe he did not want to forgive himself, maybe he wanted to enjoy the tactlessness of the self-accusation and self-pity…