It was as clear as a summer night’s sky that later he exhumed the details of the incident. But at that moment, all doors were shut tight and nobody seemed to know what answers he wanted to hear. He looked at the tenants scornfully, at their undiscriminating speculations, he could not stand it.
He was just making matters worse, they said to him. There was nothing else he could do and thought better of it. They could be right, of course. But he could not ignore the stench of apathy in his nostrils.
In the end, he decided to retreat to knit a constructive point of view. It sounded old-fashioned, it made him shudder. But it has always been an effective antidote to the poisoned heart.
He used charcoal briquettes to take out the smell, along the wooden panels and throughout the gaps.
But it was the sight of chloroform that interested him.
Once there lived a hermit living an ordinary solitary kind of life. All he ever needed was the sands beneath him, and the salts of the ocean to preserve. He stayed in the shallow reefs near the shoreline, along the coast where he had access to food and a few leisure. He rarely travels to the land, and only went when he had to. It was just a little corner of the world what he had, it was not much but it was his corner, nevertheless. He had it all.
Sure, he got a few friends at work, but he doubted if anyone would ever stick his head out for him when the time came. Not that it was necessary really, but sometimes, it was just comforting to think that one’s well-being is of some value to others.
He continues to scuttle through the sands of the beach.
The Old Dog
I read about the incident in a newspaper while waiting for my clothes to finish at a local Laundromat. I barely knew Lisa, but it saddened me, nonetheless.
She must have been dead for three days by the time her body was discovered in her apartment. She just got old — basically, it was what the news read.
It was a pivotal experience, she was the closest friend I ever had.
And now that she is gone, the more I am tucked away from ever existing.
Lisa was 77, twelve in dog years. Her famous person left for Siargao to catch some waves.
She looked good in her two-piece bikini on her Instagram post.