But being stubborn, he refused to give up, again and again making his way to the subway and returning to the fish market, buying sea bass and heading back yet again. He hoped to break through from nonexistence into reality in this mechanical way.
After having completed this bizarre journey for the fifth time, still feeling no signs of life, he suddenly came upon a surprisingly simple but dangerous idea: all of his problems are because of this character; this freak is to blame for all of his misfortunes. “I have to be done with him once and for all!”
A wild smile played upon his lips and his eyes lit up. He suddenly transformed; he sniffled, slouched, and put his hands in his pockets. Something criminal appeared in his walk. He began to resemble the character of his other novel, the one crime thriller he wrote solely for the money.
He lowered gangly the visor of his nonexistent cap, turned up the collar of his jacket and, grinning broadly, took the familiar road: past the grocery shops, Saint Mark’s Cathedral, and the bank. His fingers felt in his pocket for the knife handle.
He had purchased the knife for three dollars at a flea market from an old Asian man. The knife had a long blade, curved at the end, and a smooth ebony handle. Jacob usually cleaned sea bass with it, cut off the heads and cleaned out the white bubbles from their maw, removing the caviar and slippery green entrails. The knife fit well into Jacob’s palm and once, when the poverty of a writing life had overwhelmed him, the knife had fallen onto a sheet of paper and rattled through the silence, frightening the gnat he imagined flying around the lamp. Following the reckless turn, the gnat’s wings caught fire, and it fell, alongside the knife, onto the white sheet of paper. This became the starting point of his murder novel, for which Jacob was very ashamed, but was paid well. Thanks to that money he hadn’t wound up on the street, and even moved to the new apartment.