He was clearly a broken man, but what of the world had broken him? Was it personal? A breakup; a betrayal; a loss? Was it professional? A slight; a loss of position; a series of failed publications? Was it financial? A debt come to bear; a loss of income? Was it dramatic? A run-in with the mob; a hacker set on destroying his life?
Or was it more subtle, more insidious? Had life become a series of cuts that wouldn't heal, a spreading infection, a chronic pain?
Joseph struggled with these questions as he prepared his morning coffee, the sense of unease neither dissipating nor growing, just sitting there inside his soul. He was again able to distract himself for a short time while he checked his email. There was his agent, with his daily report on the numbers. They didn't change as dramatically day-to-day anymore.
He decided to go ahead and make the trip downtown again. He had a fear he would run into the poet again but was able to dispose of the thought with a mental exercise involving a calculation of the population of his ever-growing city. With wallet, phone, Kindle, notebook, pen, and various sundries stowed in his Fjallraven, he put one foot in front of the other towards the train station.