He stood by the sliding glass door, a makeshift whiteboard that allowed him to scrawl a smiley face on the shrinking patch of condensed breath, and looked out into the streets. It was a dull winter’s afternoon. The skies were grey and the rattling leaves gave away the unforgiving breeze that awaited outside. The flower vendor by the estate entrance usually added a dash of colour to the uninspiring view from his balcony. But he wasn’t there today.
It has been days since he left home, partially because he wanted to save money, partially because he wasn’t quite ready to face the world. It has been six weeks since he left his job, and having just completed a series of freelance assignments, the sudden lull in activity was beginning to unnerve him. He had never in his life been without a job for more than four weeks, and this new reality was scary, but at the same time liberating.
He cautiously slid the door open, just slightly, and stuck his fingers through the gap. Cold. Probably about 4 degrees Celsius. He was good with such things. Estimating useless bits of daily facts. He could guess the time of the day by just looking at the sky, and he would never be more than five minutes off the mark.
Often he wondered how successful he would be if he could translate that redundant talent into something the real world prized.
This door, he thought, marked the boundary between a slowly dissipating solace and an unideal situation; between warm comfort and the biting chill of reality.
The last of smiley faces on the cold glass had now vanished. He closed the door and lit a cigarette. There was much to do, much to think about. In his head was an ever-expanding flowchart. Arrows. Solutions. More arrows. Questions. Even more arrows. Doubt. More questions. Too many arrows.
He realised that he needed to draw this chart out. Perhaps the answer was somewhere in there.