I am still in Valencia.

I am sitting in my dorm room at my half-broken laptop. The window is open behind me. The smell of slightly burned toast and citrus cleaning fluids floats in on a chilly breeze and makes my stomach rumble.

I’m waiting for a little money to arrive. There is some on its way. In the virtual post. In the meantime, I’m staying in a cheap dorm and living on salami, bread and red wine. Wine costs between 55 cents for a dodgy box and €2 for a half-decent bottle. Obviously there are more expensive bottles, but I don’t waste my time looking at those.

I’m feeling doubtful at the moment. Doubtful about my future and doubtful about my ability to turn it into something I really want.

The doubt is making me afraid, frankly, and the fear is making me want to run away and hide – to switch off the internet and henceforth forevermore shun the company of peoplefolk whose approval I crave but will most likely never achieve.

I ignore it. The fear. I half-ignore it.

There is one other guy sharing my dorm. He works for a private equity company in Sydney. He is not sitting in the dorm feeling doubtful about his future.

He has gone to the aquarium.

So – anyway – for the rest of today, I will write hard. Some time around 4pm I will buy salami, bread and red wine. After I eat the salami and bread, I will smoke a cigarette on the roof. I will hear the laughter of foreign women and I will despair at the poverty of romance in my life. Then I will have another cigarette, maybe another brick of wine and I will pretend to be heartened by the romance of poverty. But I’ll only be half-pretending.

Yesterday I lay in the hot sun for two, maybe three hours. I knew I would burn. And I knew it was dangerous and potentially very bad for me. But I did it anyway. I did it because I also knew that within a couple of days, the redness would turn to a half-decent tan and I would feel better about myself.

Today it is cloudy, with rain on the horizon.

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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