The Chronicler

It was already lunch time and he had nothing. 

It dawned on him that if he continued like this he would not be able to pay the rent and would have to hit the streets again. 

Living in the streets was not pleasant, it wasn’t for everyone but he had managed for eight years and, perhaps, he should go back to doing just that. 

Despite the cold moments of winter, despite the starvation he often suffered, for some reason he missed those days. 

He missed being carefree, not having to clock in and out at set times, not having deadlines to meet with his articles. 

He wrote when he felt like it, or when he felt that inescapable urge to say something; to raise his voice and let people know a piece of his mind.

All that behind, now he had a rent to pay and a deadline to meet. 

He had chosen to go back into the the mad world that the majority of people populated. 

Even though he was aware it was not his natural habitat. Even though living in the streets or, better still, somewhere in the countryside like a self-sufficient hermit appealed to him, he had made the decision to enter the arena again and try to claim a place within the ‘mad habitat’.

It was not that he felt the need to be ‘normal’, or ‘grow up’, whatever that meant when his family or his ex-wife said it. It was, as usual, that he just felt he had to be part of the bigger picture. He had to play a part and he decided that his part was changing the world with his gift: words.

It was another selfless act. 

They would look at him with pity and anger again and tell him to ‘get real’. But he would not give up. Not this time. 

He knew he couldn’t change the world by himself, but he was confident that if he gave it all, if he managed to use the right words at the right time, talk to the right people, he could start a wave that together with all the other waves around the world would sweep the evil that was ruling the world.

More than four decades of life and still so naive.

He had lost count of how many times he had started the article this morning only to erase what was written. 

He took a deep breath and promised himself he would not have anything to eat until a first draft was completed. 

It was due tomorrow. They would not accept any delay and, more importantly, he knew today's words, whatever they might be, would be important.

The money he would receive for the column would pay the rent, it would buy some groceries but that wasn’t as important as the words themselves.

All his friends and family had deserted him, there was nothing left in his life but the writing.

He looked at the blank screen again, put his hands over the keyboard and started to type tentatively, not really thinking about what he wrote, just letting his fingers type whatever came to them. 

Words appeared on the screen, one after the other, constructing phrases that this time seemed to make sense. 

He moved his eyes off the screen and he typed faster more vigorously, not thinking, just letting himself go, and aware of that feeling that filled him when he wrote something that was worth it.