It was hard when the feeling set in. He found it hard.
It would come when the day was clear and cool and there was no movement to the air. The day would always begin fine. He would be doing the things that he did always. He would be lying on his bed perhaps, with his eyes on the ceiling or on the walls with the white wallpaper and the radio playing. His face would be still and he would be thinking. He would think on many things at times, because his mind was never free from the working. When the night came, he wished that he would not think, but he was never free from the working. The sleep would not come in the nights.
The feeling was strong when it came and it would come very suddenly. It would fill all of his chest and snatch away the water from his throat. It would clamp his lips together and leave his mind full of heavy thoughts, which swirled round and round, but never left his head. The feeling left a pressure at the back of his eyes, which wouldn’t leave him even when he closed them. He would try to push the feeling away from him, but it was too heavy and he would find that he couldn’t. The feeling left him without interest in the world and the things of the world. He would not be able to do the things that he would always do and then he would be sad.
These would always be the same, these heavy thoughts. The world is nothing, he would think, I myself am nothing. I have no fame, or talent or anything to give to anyone. When I go, the world will not miss me. I am here and I have nothing. Sometimes, he would think on how small and cold his heart was and why he could not experience things like the others. In all of the books and poetry that he had read, the writers had found their experiences very vivid and they had coloured their lives. He would feel his experiences dully and he would always be disappointed when he tried things that were new to him. He could never stop with this thinking.
The songs he heard on the radio would talk about love. The songs would be soft and emotional with the voice lovely in your ear. The voice would be very beautiful. His thoughts would turn on the voice, but in the voice too he would remember the heavy thoughts. The thoughts would not leave him and he wished that they would.
The voice would tell him about love and he would sink into the voice until there was nothing else. But he did not think there was such a thing as love. He thought that he had loved a girl once, but he was no longer so sure. She had been very lovely when he had known her, with her hair long and soft and dark down her back. He had played with the silken weight of her hair and he had made her laugh. He had spent many hours gazing into her face, which had been small and delicate, but very beautiful. He had thought he loved her, but she had not loved him. He never looked any more at the girls now and he did not play with the hair. He would see other people that thought they were in love too, but the thought was quick and deadly and then it would be over and the people went back to being out of love, then the people thought they were in love again, but with some other for this time. He had only thought he was in love once, but she had not loved him. He did not believe in love, but she had hurt him. He knew the thing that hurt was. He believed in this hurt.
He would lie, the mattress beneath him, hard and soft, hardly moving, and the feeling would be very strong. The feeling and the voice would take all of the room for everything else. He could not understand why he had the feeling. Sometimes, he would go through all of the day with his mind clear and cool without the feeling. He would hear the people talking and the music, soft and golden and drink the wine and hunt or fish in the streams that were cool and clear. Other days, there would be nothing but the feeling. The feeling took too much from him.