Morning sun breaks through the trees, pausing him as gentle shadows creep onto walls. A smile twitches at his lips as he finishes pouring the coffee. Hot, sweet and molten it fragrances the air, cast on the breeze that sends light cotton window coverings fluttering into the room.
He walks to the desk, across creaking floorboards, through shadow and light, enjoying the cinematic overtures cast out in miniature. He knows this is no film noir moment yet his life shares the same dark grainy feel on occasion, a sense of looming trouble, a foreboding throb. He sits.
The tools of his trade are laid out before him, gleaming softly as the curtains waft light across their surface, dancing reflections to the ceiling, pirouetting them down walls and across paintings. He surveys the room one more time, the tall windows shimmering behind soft fabric, the ageing furniture no longer antique but unworthy, paintings consume the walls, filling his mind with wonderous visions, moments of beauty and horrifying terrors. He can feel his mind drifting away, and he is happy to let go one more time, to be cast adrift without sail or paddle, left to tumbling on torrents.
Brighter now as sun and caffeine make their play, the mood shifts and he returns to contemplate the desk before him, the tools lying there, heavy on the long scarred surface, awaiting him. He has used them before, swiftly and deadly. He has used them to paint beauty, to capture fear, to draw tears of the happiest pain.
He is drawn to them, unashamed. His gaze casts over them, the handle and blade, hilt and paper so familiar. The rough and smooth a constant reminder of himself and he knows the beauty of such things, he has seen them, felt those moments.
He leans back in the chair and savours the last mouthful of deep dark liquid. He places the mug to one side and he leans forward, shoulders wide, rough palms on wood, head bowed.
With a sigh he reaches out and the familiar weight settles in his hand once more. Unsure where he will go this time, unsure what demons he will unlock or joys he will discover. These are dangerous implements he holds at once deadly and fertile, and the memories of before flood into view. He has been here so many times, placed on this course, charting his way around each new obstacle, through gentle streams and raging floods, every time alive, alive. To live then, as he knows it, is not the function of these tools, these harbingers of motion. They only move him in directions he cannot fathom nor control, and he knows that he will always be a slave to them, reliant on their whim and mercy.
He never knows what they will bring, but he knows he can never stop. Without them he is empty, void.
It is with this realisation that he smiles, happy in his circumstance, happy to be only here and only now, lost in the moment, disregarding and regardless.
His hand steady now, firm in grasp he pauses, a beat.
And then the words flow…