so that was how they found him, sitting inside a room in one of those cheap hotels, hands stained with ink from a bleeding pen that smeared the scattered pages of the crumpled manuscript strewn all over the floor. loud rock music was making the room vibrate. it couldn't have been long; the drooping cigarette in the ashtray was still alight.
he was a cornered animal, and he knew it. of course he has to; he was the one who vividly described to them what cornered animals do. it is either they are consumed by desperation and lunge indiscriminately at anyone, or simply falter and crumple in utter resignation. reading his face that afternoon, they saw neither; instead there was only mockery.
and it seemed that the whole place was vibrating with derision, even after the music was turned down. it seemed that a part of his hate was absorbed the walls of the room. "noise and music does that" he once said. "so does silence and words."
they thought it was crazy how his means of escape doesn't really make him do so but instead magnifies everything a thousand fold. much like translating his emotions into a language closer to him. to prevent himself from feeling the pain of skin too near a flame, he burns himself completely.
and it was this reckless attitude that they had a love-hate relationship with. of course, he was defined by it, and it was the gravity that made everything revolve around him. but it was a matter of time when one of those things that he drew in would shatter him.
so in an act that can be described either as self-immolation, or as nurturing hate, he exiled himself from them in order to write down a piece of his being inside that room, the very same one that witnessed the torturous and agonizing exorcism that gave birth to the precious papers strewn all over the room.
and like in many exorcisms, the price to be paid has always been a life.
they could still remember how he opened his hand in front of them and shown them the ways a cornered thinking animal can try and escape. he ticked off his fingers one by one without saying anything. and when there was only his fist, he stared at them in the eye, smiled, and walked away.